Alison Stokes
Beginning Reading

Rationale: In order to develop a child's phonemic awareness, children must have an understanding of short vowel sounds. For students to be successful fluent readers, they must accomplish decoding skills for unfamiliar words. In this lesson, students will learn the short a sound:  a=/a/. Through language experience activities, tongue twisters, buddy reading, and print concepts students will learn to read and write /a/ words.

Materials: Primary paper, pencil, chart paper with tongue twister on it (Allie the ant and Alison the alligator are actors), two pieces of chart paper for language experience activity, easel, marker, each student needs a copy of A Cat Nap (Educational Insights), one flashcard for each child with pictures with the short a sounds as well as other pictures that do not have the short a sound (apple, ate, last, cat, cab, rat, cap, fat, stand, rag, ran, hand, dog, roof, pig, book, chick, red, pet, hen, six, up, rip, stop, hop, and frog), picture worksheet

1.) Ask the class: "What noise do you make when you sneeze? Your right. Aaa-aaa-aaa-choo! The aaa sound is the sound the short /a/ sound makes. Today we are going to learn about the letter /a/ and the sound it makes by reading and writing words with the short /a/ sound."

2.) Read the tongue twister aloud to the students. "Now as I point to each word of the tongue twister on the chart paper, I want everyone to read aloud with me. Allie the ant and Alison the alligator are actors. Now lets read it again, and I want everyone to stretch out the /a/ at the beginning of the words. A/a/a/a/llie the a/a/a/nt a/a/a/nd a/a/a/lison the a/a/a/lligator are /a/a/a/ctors. Awesome job! Now lets try it again but only this time break /a/ off each word. /a/llie the /a/nt and  /a/lison the /a/lligator are /a/ctors. Great job!"

3.) Have the class sit together on the floor. Set up a piece of chart paper on an easel. Ask the class: "Can anyone think of other words with the short /a/ sound?" As students say each word, write them down, even if they do not have the short /a/ sound. Afterwards go through the list and ask the students: "Does everyone agree that each word on the list has the short /a/ sound? If there are some words that do not, which ones are they?" If there are other words that do not have the short /a/ sound, make another list of other words. When the short /a/ word list is correct, ask the students: "Now we are going to read all the short /a/ words we came up with and lets stretch out the /a/ sound in each word."

4.) "Now we are going to practice writing the letter a. Everyone take out your primary paper and pencil. Now everyone follow me as I model how to write the letter 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 everyone practice a row of a's just the way we practiced and when you are down come show me."

5.) "Next we are going to read A Cat Nap with a buddy." Have the class predict what they think the story will be about based on the cover. Afterwards, give a book talk. "Tab the cat likes to take naps but when he woke up from his nap he was somewhere new. You must read the book to find out where Tab was. Now I would like everyone to find a buddy and take turns reading a page aloud to one another. I will walk around and listen to everyone read."

6.) "Now, I am going to pass out one flashcard to everyone. On some cards there are pictures with the short /a/ sound and on some cards there are pictures that do not have the short /a/ sound. I want the people that have the short /a/ words on this side of the room and the people who have the cards with other words on the other side of the room." Pass out the cards and tell the student what the picture is if they do not know. When the students move to their respected side of the room, have each student read what their picture is of and to stress the short /a/ sound in the word.

7.) Have the students return to their seats. "Now class I want everyone to look at their worksheet on their desk. There are two pictures in each box and I want you to circle the picture that has the short /a/ sound in the word. When you are done put the worksheet in the reading basket."

A Cat Nap. Educational Insight.

Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read. Center for the Study of Reading, 1990. page 51-71.
(Web page entitled Aaa-aaa-aaa-choo!! By: Paige Parker)

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