How ‘Bout Them Apples?
By: Shea Fant
Rationale:  Many children can recognize that a=/a/ when they see and hear it, but they still may not be able to put the correspondence together and actually recognize it in words when reading.  This lesson is aimed to review the basics of the correspondence and to help children put their knowledge of this to use when reading words with a=/a/ in them.  This particular lesson will also help them to distinguish the difference between words with a=/a/ in them, and words with out this correspondence.

Materials:  A large apple tree with apples on it that the children can in some way pull off, these apples need to have words with the a=/a/ correspondence on them and words with out.  For example, some apples will have words like bat, grab, pad, etc. and the other apples will have random beginning reader words with out the correspondence such as, dog, the, it, etc.  In order to play the apple game, one will need 2 of some sort of crate, box, or basket, to drop the good and bad apples in.  A book that is filled with a=/a/ words like A Cat Nap. Some type of word wall or word list is also needed for the review with a few of the same a=/a/ words that are on the apples, on the list or wall.  Primary paper, pencils, and an assessment worksheet.  The worksheet should consist of a paragraph with four sentences full of a=/a/ words, so the children can read the paragraph and circle the words with this correspondence.  For example: The cat is fat.  The cat sat on a bat. The cat took a nap.  The bat is now flat.  ( For better  text, refer to a book such as A Cat Nap. )
1. Introduce the lesson by saying “Boys and girls, today we are going to work with the crying baby sound.”  I will then model/demonstrate this sound /a/.  “  Listen as I cry like a baby, /a/, /a/, /a/.”  “Does anyone know what letter makes the /a/ sound?”  “It is the letter A.”  I will then model an “a” on the board just to make sure everyone remembers.  “Now lets all make the crying baby sound.”  “Do you feel the way your mouth is as you make this sound?”
2. Then have the children repeat a tongue twister filled with a=/a/.  “Aunt Ally’s alligator acts in Alabama.”  “I am going to write these words on the board, let’s try to read them as we say our silly sentence.”  Ask the children if they see and hear a=/a/ in this sentence.
3. Now have them play a reading game.  “We are now going to play a game.”  “I have an apple tree set up in the back of the room and we are going to each pick one apple off the tree.”  In an orderly fashion let the children go pick their apples.  *** Be sure not to tell them anything about what will be done with the apples, so you do not influence them in any way of what type of word apple to pick!  Also make sure you the teacher pick one too, for demonstration purposes. ***
4. After each child picks an apple have them return to their seats.  Then, explain “ Some of us picked what we are going to call good apples and some of us picked what we will call bad apples.”  “Now, read the word on your apple silently to yourself.  In a minute you will have a turn to share your word with the class.  After you read your word, you will then decide if it goes in the crate labeled good apples, or the crate labeled bad apples.  They way you decide if the apple is good or bad is by reading the word.  If it is a word that has the crying baby sound in it when you read it, it is a good apple, and if it doesn’t have a crying baby sound, it is a bad apple.”  “I am going to show you how we will do this, my apple says tap, so it does have the crying baby sound and an “a” in it, so I am going to place it in the good apple crate.”  Keep going until every child has read and placed their apple in a crate!
5. For review have a word wall or word list with a few of the a=/a/ words from the apples on either the wall or list.  Then as a class read these words.
6. For more review have the children copy the word wall or word list words on primary paper, for extra practice on recognizing a=/a/ when writing words.
7.     Have the student read an appropriate level book full of a=/a/ words.  For example:  A Cat Nap
8.    Use a worksheet for extra practice and assessment.  Have a sheet with short beginning reading text on it. (Approximately 4 sentences)  This text should be filled with words with the a=/a/ correspondence in them.  Have the children read the paragraph and circle all the words with a=/a/ in them.  An example would be: The cat is fat.  The cat sat on a bat. The cat took a nap.  The bat is now flat.  (For better text, refer to a book such as A Cat Nap.)
Reference:  Mrs. Jones 1st grade class, 1997

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