Emergent Literacy Design
Rationale: Phonemes are difficult for
identify, especially short vowels.
Children cannot begin to match letters to phonemes until they
recognize phonemes in spoken words. This
lesson will help children identify /a/ (short
a). They will learn to recognize /a/ in
spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter
then practice finding /a/ in words.
with pictures of ant, bee, cat, dog, bat, hat, umbrella, black, pink,
tack, ruler, apple,
orange, alligator, fish, jacket, sock
-chart paper with
-5 3x3 circle patterns
-green, red &
- Introduce lesson on short /a/. "In order to read, we have to be able to
recognize letters and know their sounds which can be very tricky. But I
have no question in my mind that you guys can do it. Are you ready for
"Today, we are going to learn about the letter a. You
probably haven’t noticed what a common
letter a is, but after today,
you will begin to notice the letter a
the place in all kinds of words!"
- "Have you ever seen a caterpillar? A caterpillar loves to eat apples. Now, I want everyone to say that after me, 'A
caterpillar loves to eat apples.' What sound do you hear in caterpillar and apples? Can you imagine a
caterpillar being really hungry and wanting to take a big bite of his
apple? Let’s pretend we are caterpillars
and are about to take a big bite of a fat, juicy red apple. (I will
demonstrate the sound.) Now everybody,
lets take three big bites."
- "Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart)." Point to words when saying it: "Ann Anteater
took Andy Alligator’s apples, so angry Andy Alligator took Ann
- Now, I want everyone to say it three
times slow together. Alright, now let’s
try to say it three times together fast. Now,
I want us to say it slow again, stretching out the /a/ at the beginning
of the words. "Aaann Aaanteater took
Aaandy Aaalligator’s aaaples, so aaangry Aaandy Aaalligator took Aaann
Aaanteater’s aaants." Now, try it again
breaking off the /a/ from the rest of the word: “ /a/ nn
took /a/ ndy /a/ lligator’s /a/ pples, so /a / ngry /a/ ndy /a/ lligator took /a/ nn
/a/ nteater’s /a/ nts."
- Have students take out primary paper
and pencil. We can use the letter a to spell /a/. Let’s write
it. For a lowercase a, don’t start at the
fence. Start under the fence.
Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the
sidewalk, around and straight down. Now, I
want you to make nine more just like that. Have
them put their pencil down when finished.
- "Now I am going to say a few words and
I want you to raise your hand and tell me the answer and how you know: Glass or cup? Ant
or bee? Cat or cut? Tell
or tail? Now, as a class, I want you guys
to brainstorm and come up with a list of words with the /a/ sound. (Write list on board). Everyone
get out your crayons. (Pass out paper). On this paper, I want you to
draw a picture of something that will help you remember the /a/ sound. You may draw a picture of a word on this list.
After you draw your picture, write the name of it underneath and
underline the a. Do your best
because we are going to hang these up in the classroom."
- Read A Cat Nap.
Have students raise their hands when they here a word with
the /a/ sound. “How are we going to
remember the /a/ sound? Remember the
hungry caterpillar about to take a big bite.” (Make sound three times.)
Pass out construction paper and patterns. Have them get out scissors and crayons. Show them model caterpillar with mouth
open. Have them trace three circles on
green and one on red. Glue circles
together like a chain. Cut sideways v in
middle of face to look like open mouth.
May use yellow construction paper for eyes or draw them in. Boys write Andy on their caterpillar, girls
Pass out the picture page.
Have them use their /a/ caterpillar to determine which words has
sound. Circle the correct pictures whose
names have short /a/.
Internet website: www.atozteacherstuff.com/lessons/VeryHungryCaterpillar.shtml
Cushman, Sheila. A Cat
Nap. Carson, CA: Educational Insights. 1990.
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