Brooke Simmons
Emergent Literacy
                                                        Crying Baby Sound

Rationale:  By learning that letters stand for sounds children will be able to decode words.  Short vowel sounds are very common, such as a = /a/, so children need lots of practice with them so that they automatically recognize a to be /a/.

Material:  Elkonin boxes and letter manipulatives for the words cab, tag, mat, drag, glad, and flag {a,b,c,d,f,g,l,m,r,t}; the book The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss; a poster with pictures of things that have the a = /a/ sound, and poster with tongue twister on it.

1. I will introduce the lesson by telling the children that sometimes when we see the letter a it makes a different sound than we might expect.  Sometimes letter a says /a/, we call this short a.  Can you make that sound with me?  (I will have students repeat sound several times until everyone has it down.)  Very good!

2. Now let’s try a tongue twister.  “I ate apples at Aunt Anna’s this afternoon.”  Now class let’s all say it together twice.  Good job!  Now let’s try it again but this time I want you to raise your hand every time that you hear /a/.  Well done!

3. All right class, I want you to look at this poster.  See if you can tell me which things have the /a/ sound in them.  Excellent!

4. Now we will use our Elkonin boxes to spell some words.  Let’s spell cab, tag, mat, glad, drag, and flag.  (I will instruct the children as to how many boxes they need to use.  Also, I will walk around as I do this checking to see that everyone has it correct before moving on to the next word.)

5. Okay, now I am going to call out some words to you and I want you to tell me which words you hear a = /a/ in.
 * sit or sat * snack or stuck
 * cat or cut * flag or felt

6. We will now read The Cat in the Hat.  As I read let’s see how many words you can find with the /a/ sound.

Reference: Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson:  A Hands on Approach for Teacher Decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

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