Rationale: To be able to learn and spell words, children need to be aware that spoken words are composed of phonemes which represent the sounds of the letters. Word recognition occurs at a much faster pace if the students understand the relationship that exist between the sounds of spoken words and the letters in the written words. Identifying short vowels is a difficult task. In this lesson, students will learn to identify /a/ (short a) in spoken words by learning a meaningful
representation and a letter symbol. Students will also identify /a/ in written words.
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that our written language is a secret code. "You can learn the by learning what the letters stand for and what moves the mouth makes as you say words. Today we are going to look at how our mouth moves when we say /a/ (short a). At first, /a/ will seem hidden in words, but as you get more familiar with it, you will be able to spot /a/ in all kinds of spoken and written words."
2. Ask students: "Has anyone ever come up behind you and scared you really bad and cause you to scream /a/? That is the mouth move we are looking for in words. Let's all pretend that someone just came up behind you and scared you. As you say /a/ put your hand on your cheeks. Let me hear how bad that person scared you by making the /a/ sound."
4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil). "We can use letter a to spell /a/. Let's write it together. (demonstrate on dry erase board) Don't start at the fence. Start under the fence, Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down. I want to see everyone's a. After I put a check on your paper, I want you to make nine more a's just like the first one. When you see letter a all by itself in a word, thatās the signal to say /a/."
Cushman, Sheila. A Cat Nap. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990
Eldredge, J.Lloyd. (2nd Ed.) Teach Decoding: Why and How. Upper Saddle River, Pearson Prentice Hall. p23.
Laura Earl, "Abby's Alligator", http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/begin/earlel.html
Mareena Kohtala, "I've Got a Bad Taste in my Mouth!...Aaa!"
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