Paula Jones
Emergent Literacy

"What’s that Noise?  It’s a Baby Crying!"

Rational:  Children need to know that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words before they can read and spell words.  Short vowels are the hardest phoneme sound for emergent readers to identify.  This lesson will be dedicated to the identification of /a/ (short a).  The goal will be for the children to hear /a/ sound in familiar words.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil, a chart with the tongue twister written on it: Amanda has an apple for her after school snack, chalk, chalkboard, crayons, an apple stamp, and the book The Cat’s Nap.

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that, “Writing is a special code.  This code can be broken if we learn what letters stand for-the mouth move we make as we say words.  Today we are going to work on the first letter in the alphabet a=/a/.  The /a/ sound may be hard to hear in the words, but when we finish you will hear it in all kinds of words.”
2. “How many of you have a baby brother or sister?  Can you tell us what he or she does when he/she wants something?  That’s right they cry!  I know we have all heard a baby cry.  It sounds like this Aaaa!  Come on let me hear you do it.  This is the mouth move we are looking for in words.  So, pay close attention for it,”
3. “Now let’s try a tongue twister.” (Use chart)  The teacher models the twister first.  “Amanda has an apple for her after school snack.”  Now have the class say it all together.  Break the class into three groups and have each group say the twister.  “Now let’s stretch the /a/ at the beginning of each word where an a is.”  “ We can even try breaking the /a/ off the words—manda, h/a/s, pples, for her fter school sn/a/ck.”  “Excellent Job!”  Tell them jokingly, “You have done this before haven’t you?”
4. Have the students take out primary paper and pencils.  “Does anybody know what letter makes the /a/ sound?  Yes, that is right a.  Come on let us write it!”  Teacher models while saying:

· “Start a little under the fence.
· Curve toward the window of the class to the bottom of the fence.
· Without lifting your pencil draw a straight line to the bottom of the fence.
I want to see everybody writing an a.  Then I will put an apple stamp on it when you are finished.  This apple will be a sign of a great job!  After receiving your stamp you need to write the letter a five more times.  Then I need you to remember next time when you see a word with a in it that it a sign to say /a/.
5. Call on students to answer and tell how they know: Do you hear /a/ in last or list? Dog or cat?  Matt or Tim?  Apple or peach?  Tape or tap?  Give me thumbs up if you hear /a/ in these words:  hat, take, ask, bait, rat, apple trough a book-talk. Rake, etc…
6. Introduce The Cat’s Nap through a book-talk.  Pass out the book to all the students have them partner up to read the book together.  Have each of them give a thumbs up to each other when they hear /a/ in a word.  When each group finishes the reading have them get out their paper and pencils to write a message on anything they want.  Once each message is written have them read it to the class and display it themselves.
7. Assessment:  Tell the children to draw pictures of things that have /a/ in them.  They need to label it and in time we will share the pictures with our neighbors.

References:  Elderidge, J. Llyod.  Developing Phonemes Awareness.  Teaching Decoding in the Holistic Classroom.  New Jersey. Prentile Hall, 1995.

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