Hilary Brannon
Emergent Literacy

Falling Apples

Rationale:  Children must be able to identify individual sounds in words in
order to read and write.  Children must also be given the opportunity to
listen and discriminate between phonemes in words.  This lesson is
designed to help the children identify the phoneme /a/.
The lesson also reiterates the phoneme /a/  by having the students
complete an exercise by recognizing the /a/ sound and repeat a tongue
twister .

Materials:  Red construction paper cut into apple shapes,magic markers
to write the following words onto the apple shapes: bat,tap,cat, clap,hen,
rug, apple, cone, lamp, gum.  Poster board with a tree drawn and colored
on it.  Have velcro pieces on the tree and the back of the apples, chalk and
chalk board.


1.  Explain to the children that words are composed of a variety of sounds
and that some words may even share the same sound.  We must be able
to identify the sounds in words to learn to read and write.

2.  Tell the class, "The sound that we are going to learn today is the short
a=/a/  sound, such as apple and ant." Hold up a picture of an apple. "Let‚s
all say /a/ together." Write the words apple and ant on the board and have
the students read them together orally.

3.  Have the students read and repeat the following tongue twister.
Explain to the students to listen for the /a/ sound.  "Andrew and Alice
asked if Annie's active animals were angry."

4.  I will have some words on the apples and I want you to tell me if they
have the short /a/ sound in them.   The apples will be velcroed onto the
tree and they will fall if they do not contain the short /a/ sound in them.
I will point to a word and you will repeat the word after me.  If the word
doesn‚t have the /a/ sound in it then I want you to raise your hand,but if it
doesn‚t I want you to remain quiet and watch as the apple falls off of the

5.  Tell the children, "We are going to play the game and beware of the
falling apples."  Put all the words on the tree. I will point  to a word and
allow the children to repeat it.  If it has the /a/ sound then they will raise
their hand,however if it doesn't then the apple will fall off the tree.

6.  Now let's try a tongue twister. "Abby had an apple in the bag."
Everybody say it three times together.  Now say it again , and this time
stretch the /a/ at the beginning of the words.  "Aaabby had aaan aaapple in
the bag."  Try it again,and this time break it off the word, "/a/ bby had /a/
n /a/ pple in the bag."  Good job.

7.  Read a book with the /a/ sound such as Pat's Jam.

8.  For assessment,have students raise their hands each time they hear
the /a/ sound while the story is being read.

     Pat's Jam.  Educational Insights. Dominguez Hills,CA. c  1990.

Reference:  Eldredge,J.Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Brigham
Young University. Prentice Hall,Mew Jersey (1995). Pg.61.

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