RATIONALE: An understanding that letters
represent phonemes must be clear in order for children to learn to read
and spell. Recognizing phonemes is the
first step in the process of children making that understanding and being capable of correlating their spellings of words with the phoneme sequence of
spoken words. This lesson will begin with the short vowel sequence, beginning with /a/. Often, short vowels are the hardest phonemes to understand.
Focusing on a=/a/, the short a sound, children will learn the representation of /a/ as the letter a, as well as identify words containing /a/ singing songs.
MATERIALS: primary paper; pencil; chart: ãAllie always asks the magician for answers in alphabetical order.ä; Patâs Jam (Educational Insights); picture page
with pictures (mask, hat, mittens, flowers, cat, pencil, basket etc); magnetic board; magnets
1) Introduce the lesson by explaining that each letter has a sound. When we are talking about letters, you (the class) are supposed to be detectives who
are trying to figure out what sounds those letters represent. When we talk, sometimes we make sounds with our lips (/m/ some times in the back of our
throats (/g/), and sometimes the sounds seem like they are coming from our noses (/ng/)! Today, you are going to detect, explore, and even do some magic with
the /a/ sound, which is represented by the letter a. We have all heard /a/ many times, and today you will see the many ways /a/ is written in words.
2) Teacher asks: How many of you have ever seen a magician or wizard perform magic before? They say something very special right before the magic trick is
performed.---Abra-kadabra-kazam! POOF!!--- When they say abra-kadabra-kazam! Poof!! their mouths are making the /a/ sound. I want to see if we can all
transform from detectives into magicians for just a moment and make the /a/ sound. Everyone hold up your magic wand (pointer finr/arm), and let us perform
magic! Ready, 1-2-3·(all together) Abra-kadabra-kazam! POOF!! Great! do it one more time really emphasizing that /a/ sound. Listen to
me÷AAAAAAbra-kadaaaaabra-kazaaaaaaaam! POOF!! Okay, so what can we think of when we see the short vowel a? Exactly,
Abra-kadabra-kazam-/a//a//a/ Now, all together, everyone stretch out your /a/ sounds. Way to go! I can hear each of your magic sayings.
3) Okay, now , try a tongue twister (on chart): Allie always asks the magician for answers in alphabetical order. Now you try it. Wonderful! Everyone
hold your wands up again. Iâm going to say this again, when you hear /a/, wave your wand in the air. Here we go·AAAAllie always aaaaasks the magician for
aaaaanswers in aaaaalphabetical order. Wow, a lot of magic is going on in our room!
4) Now that you all have the short a sound, Everyone practice using the letter a to spell /a/. Each of you needs to take out your paper and pencil. Weâll begin
with the proper way to make an a on your paper. (teacher modeling on board) First, begin right under the fence, curve up and touch the fence, then around
and down to the ground like youâre making the letter c. Keep curving back up to the fence, and before you lift your pencil, make a straight line right back
down to the ground. You continue making a's on your paper. Iâll be coming around to make sure you all have it. Wonderful! As you are writing these a's
letâs review what we should think of when we see the letter a in a word. Thatâs right·Abra-kadabra-kazam /a//a//a/ POOF!! And what does that magic
saying stand for? Yes, it is a saying to help you remember the short a sound, which is? Perfect! Yes, the short a sound is /a/.
5) Boys and girls, you are so smart! Letâs see if you can figure these questions out. If you know the answer, I want you to raise your hand and tell me how
you knew. Here we go, do you hear /a/ in hat or glove? Mouse or cat? Apple or orange? Slow or fast?·.Wonderful! I couldnât stump you!
6) I have a song for you about words and sounds. It is to the tune of ãWheels on the Bus.ä Listen to me first, and then I will call on you to fill in some of the
words and we can all sing using your words. Here we go·
(format): I (or studentâs name) have a word
that starts/ends with /a/ --or has /a/ in the middle-- ·.(word)
starts/ends or has /a/ in the middle·.All around
I have a word with /a/
in the middle, /a/
in the middle, /a/
in the middle. I have a word with /a/
in the middle·.All around the town. And my word is Pat Pat
Pat Pat Pat, Pat Pat Pat. Pat is a word with /a/ in the middle·.All around the town.
Okay, now itâs your turn. Raise your
hand when you have a word. Tell me if /a/ is at the beginning, in
the middle of the word, or at the end. Then weâll sing.
(teacher makes list on board as students come up with new words·categorizing by /a/ at beginning, middle, end) Wow, that was great boys and girls!
7) Do a brief book talk about Patâs Jam in order to introduce the book. Read the book and have students use invented spelling to write a quick message (if
needed, prompt could be, what would you do if you were a rat? Would you drive? To the store? Would your name be pat? Etc.)
Pass out picture page and have children circle all of the pictures with /A/ in their names.(go through pictures making sure every child has identified the
pictures with the same names) At the end, as a class, choose words from the picture page (ex: cat) and on a magnetic board, use magnets to ( teacher
arranges the magnets) show all of the different words that can be made by changing the first letter (ex: Sat, Mat, Hat·) Have a discussion about whether
or not these Înewâ words all have /a/ in them. Would you still hear the /a/ sound if you changed the last letter of the words? Allow children to think
through answers and see if the letters in the words change sounds. Do several on chart for children to see.
Eldredge, J., Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.
Columbus, OH. Prentice Hall, Inc. 1995. Pgs. 50-70.
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