“A baby cries aaaaa”
Emergent literacy
Ashley Clanton

Rationale: Children need to be able to recognize phonemes fist before they can connect letters and phonemes.  Phonemes are the smallest unit of sounds in our language.  Short vowel phonemes are often the hardest to recognize.  This lesson will help the children identify /a/, short a , one of the vowel phonemes they will need to read and spell words.
Materials: Elkonin letter boxes, letters a,c,d,n,p,s,t- for each student, a lowercase a on a poster board ,overhead projector, a transparency with text on it, the book A Cat Nap. The students will also need a piece of primary paper and a pencil.
Procedures: 1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining, “We have to learn the letters and what they stand for to learn more about our language.  With each letter our mouth moves a little different in order to pronounce the letter and the sound it makes.  2. I will tell students that we will learn to move our mouths to make the /a/ sound.  “Have you ever heard a baby cry like this aaaaa?”  Now I want everyone to say /a/ together.  Now I will have the students look at the poster with the lowercase a on it.  Next I will review how to make an a on the chalkboard.  I will say, “Take out a pencil and a piece of paper.  Okay boys and girls, we are going to put our pencils a little bleow the middle dotted line and go up to the middle line.  Curve around to the bottom line and back up to the dotted line.  Now you have a circle that loks like a crying baby’s mouth.  Now make a stick that goes back down to the bottom line and now you have a lower case a.  3. Now, I will pass out the letter boxes and the letters to the students.  Say, “Now we will take out our letter boxes to make some words.  First we will use two letter boxes. I will say the word “at”, stetching out the “aaaa” sound.” Now I want everyone to say the word “at” with me and remember to stretch out the /a/ sound.” Now I will walk around and show the students that the letter a goes in one box and the t goes in the other. “Good Job class!” Now the students will go on to spell the words “pan” and “cap”, each in three letter boxes. 4.  Say, “ Now class, I am going to write all of the words we spelled in our letter boxes on the chalkboard”. “ I want you to help me sound out each word boys and girls”.  The class will stretch out the sounds on the words “at”, “pan”, and “cap”.  5. Now that the students have learned about the /a/ sound I will  give them two words and they must raise their hand if they hear the /a/ sound. “ Now that we have heard the /a/ sound in some words  we will see if you can be super listeners and hear the /a/. Do you hear the/a/ in the word cast or even? Raise your hand if you hear the sound in cast or even. Good Job! Now I will ask them If they hear the sound in Jack or Jill?, dirt or sand? 6.  “Class, you did so well hearing the /a/ sound.  Now I will read the book A Cat Nap to the class.

Reference: Eldredge, L. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms ,New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

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