Adam’s Apples

Beginning Reading

Jillian Wyatt


Children need lots of explicit and systematic phonics instruction in order to be able to read.  Beginning readers need to know that words are made of sounds.  They also need to know which letters make each sound. Because all words have vowels in them, it is usually best to begin teaching vowels. It is easier to teach short vowels because they are most commonly found in words with only one vowel.  This lesson will focus on a = /a/.  Students will review the short a sound, and then the students will practice spelling and reading words with the /a/ sound.





1.     Introduce the lesson:

"Today we are going to be learning about the short vowel A and the sound that it makes. Every time you see an /a/ in a word, I want us to make the sound of a crying baby, aaahhh. Ok now I want everyone to act like a baby and make the crying sound… ready, aaahhhh, Good! This sound is a sound that we hear all the time in our language.


2.     Introduce the tongue twister to the students.

I will hold up a sentence strip: "Ok, now let’s say this tongue twister together: Adam gave his alligators apples after they asked nicely.


3.     Using the overhead and the letter manipulatives, ask the students to name the words that have the aaahhh sound in them and model the way to sound out the sounds in the words to the class. "Who can give me a word that has a crying baby sound? Good, nap. Now, if I were going to spell that word, I would listen to the sounds, /n/, /aaaaaa/ (there’s our sound), and /p/." Practice more words using the Elkonin boxes.

4. "Now I want everyone to get out your boxes and letters and we are going to practice a few words." Have the students leave their letters on their boards and then check the spelling. Start with three phoneme words, and then move to four and five phonemes. (3 phonemes) [s] [a] [d]     [l] [a] [p]   

[b] [a] [ck] (4 phonemes) [g] [l] [a] [d]  [l] [a] [m] [p] (6 phonemes)

 [s] [t] [r] [a] [n] [d]

5. "Now I am going to spell  a few words back to you. If you know what word I am spelling, raise your hand and you can answer." Without using the boxes, spell out the words to make sure they can read them.

6. With the book A Cat Nap, get into small groups or partners with children and have the students read the book aloud. They can assess each other by grading each other on reading speed, expression, and knowing more words



For an assessment, you can have a picture sheet with lots of different pictures using different sounds and have the students circle the pictures with the /a/ sound in their name. Have pictures of apples, alligators, desks, lamp, shirt, etc.



Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New
: Prentice Hall, 54-57.

Alison Bradley: Excellent E!!:

Laura Earl: Ashley’s Apples

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