Aaaaa! Ashley’s Scared  of  /a/!
Ashley Biggee
Emergent Readers

 Readers must first be able to recognize letters. This lesson is designed to help students learn the letter Aa. In this lesson students will recognize /a/ in spoken words by learning a memorable representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /a/ in text.
Primary paper
Picture with a screaming/scared person, i.e. in the movie Home Alone.
Chart with Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry
“A Cat Nap” by Educational Insights (one for each student)
A set of illustrated cards with the words  cat, crab, splat, trash, box, pass, nap, sit, mat, fox, top, kit
1. First, explain to students that we make our mouth form different movements in order to make different sounds come out. Today, we are trying to make the sound for the letter /a/. Once we know how to make the sound with our mouths, it will help us hear it in spoken words and recognize it in written words.

2. Ask the students if they have ever been so scared they screamed. Ask them what sound they made. Was the sound “Aaaaaaa”?  This is the way our mouth makes the sound for the short /a/. Your tongue and jaw are down. We are going to make the gesture of putting our hands on the side of our face like we are scared and screaming. Today we are going to listen for that sound and try to make that sound in some new words.

3. Now we are going to try a tongue twister. I will use this chart to help us. Together we will read the tongue twister holding the /a/ sound as we see it and hear it in the words. The tongue twister is Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry. I want us to hold the /a/ like this “Aaaaandrew aaaand Aaaaalice aaaasked if Aaaannie's aaaaactive aaaanimals were aaaangry” Now lets try it again holding that /a/ sound and making the gesture of being scared at the same time  Do you think we can do it? Let’s try   Did you all hear the /a/ sound in those words? Can you name another word that begins with a short a?

4. We can also use what we know about this new letter and its sound to write words. Let’s practice writing the letter /a/. Now, we are going to try writing an a on our primary paper. Start below the fence, circle down to the sidewalk, come back up and touch the fence, and move straight back down to the sidewalk. (Show students your /a/) Does you’re /a/ look like this? Great job 

5. Next, I will have the students spot the /a/ sound in different words that I say. Do you hear the /a/ sound in cat or box? Trash or sit? Nap or fox? Top or pass? Crab or kit? Splat or box? Hold up the card in which you hear the /a/ sound as I ask them.

6. Does anyone have a cat? This book is about a cute cat! To find out why its called A Cat Nap we will have to read the book! We will then read “A Cat Nap” and I will have the students make the gesture of being scared  if they hear the /a/ sound as we read.

7. The students will be assessed by using a checklist for task completed and by the teachers observation during the reading


Respects others
Student reads quietly and stays in one place in the reading area.
Student reads quietly. S/he moves around once or twice but does not distract others.
Student makes 1-2 comments or noises when reading, but stays in one place in reading area.
Student reads loudly, makes repeated comments or noises OR fidgets and moves about often, distracting others.
Stays on task
Student reads the entire period. This may be independent reading or done with adult or peer assistance, as assigned.
Student reads almost all (80% or more) of the period.
Student reads some (50% or more) of the time.
Student wastes a lot of reading time.
Focus on story/article
Student is lost in the story. There's no looking around or flipping through the pages.
Student seems to be enjoying and moving through the story, but takes some short breaks.
Student seems to be reading the story, but doesn't seem to be very interested. Takes a few short breaks.
Pretends to read the story. Mostly looks around or fiddles with things.
Tries to understand
Stops reading when it doesn't make sense and reads parts again. Looks up words s/he doesn't know.
Stops reading when it doesn't make sense and tries to use strategies to get through the tricky spots or to figure out new words.
Stops reading when it doesn't makes sense and asks for assistance.
Gives up entirely OR plows on without trying to understand the story.
Thinks about the story/article
Student accurately describes what has happened in the story and tries to predict "what will happen next."
Student accurately describes what has happened in the story.
Student accurately describes most of what happened in the story.
Student has difficulty re-telling the story.

Allison Cox, Ahh... You Woke Up Baby