The Race to Space
Beginning Reading
Sarah Byrd

Children need to understand the difference between short and long vowel sounds in order to read.  They must understand that these correspondences are spelled and pronounced differently.  This lesson will teach a_e = /A/  through reading words with a_e, spelling a_e words in a letterbox lesson, and free writing.

Sentence strip with tongue twister :  Jake will race and ape to space.
Elkonin boxes for each student
Letter sets for each student (m, a, d, r, u, g, n, e, f, c, t, p, s, l)
Large Elkonin box for teacher use
Large letter set for teacher use (m, a, d, r, u, g, n, e, f, c, t, p, s, l)
Primary writing paper and pencil for each student
Space worksheet for assessment - rocket ships with words grape, cake, sand, fade, rag and plant with "a_e"
Scissors and glue sticks for each student
Jane and Babe for every 2 students
Flashcards with pseudowords PLAKE, SHRAD, GAKE, MAND, FLATE

1. Review the a = /a/ correspondence.  "You have done so well with all of the short vowel sounds that we are ready to move to long vowels.  Who can tell me what the short a sound is?  That's right - /a/, like in ax.  Today we are going to learn one way to make the letter a say its name /A/.  Whenever there is an e at the end of a word, a is going to say its name.  Let me show you how to do one (write the word space on the board).  I see the letter a sandwiched in the middle of the word, and look - there's an e at the end!  Now I know that word is space."

2. Put up sentence strip with tongue twister.  "Let's try a tongue twister together.  I'm going to read it first, then I want us to read it together.  Jake will radce an ape to space.  Now you try - fabulous!  Let's say it again, and stretc out the long /A/ sound.  Jaaake will raaace an aaape to spaaace.

3. Pass out Elkonin boxes and letter sets to each student for letterbox lesson.  Students should be familiar with letterbox lessons.  Review short vowel sounds also.  "I want to tell you about a new rule for our letterboxes today.  We know that the letter e makes a say its name and doesn't make a sound, so we don't need to put it in a box.  It goes outside the last box.  Let me show you."  Put up teacher version of Elkonin boxes with 4 boxes showing.  "I want to spell the word space.  I hear the /s/ sound at the beginning, so I'll put s in the first box.  Then I hear the /p/ sound, so p goes second.  Next I hear the long a sound, so a goes third.  Last I hear /s/, so I will put c in the last box.  I know that I need the e to make a say its name, so I'm going to put it outside the last box.  Now you try."

4. Have students start with 3 boxes: (mad, rug, name)
    Move up to 4 boxes: (grade, frame, lamp, grape)
    Move up to 5 boxes: (scrape)

5. I will model how to read the word race on the board withoug letterboxes.  "I'm going to write some words on the board and I want you to raise your hand when you know what the word says."  Write race on the board.  "Who can tell me what this word says?  That's right it says race.  You knew that because the e at the end of the word told you to say /A/, not /a/."  Continue to write the rest of the letterbox words on the board calling on students to answer.  Occasionally ask them how they knew what the word says.

6. Have students get out primary paper and pencils.  Have the class write about what they want to be when they grow up.  "Now I want yo uto write a message about what you want to be when you grow up.  What made you pick that?"

7. In pairs, have the students read Jane and Babe.  "This book is about a lion named Babe and her friend Jane.  Jane and Babe like to play together.  One day, Jane comes to see Babe, but he is asleep.  She tries to wake him up, but nothing seems to work.  To findout if Jane will be able to wake up Babe so they can play, you will have to read the book!"

8. Students will not woplete worksheet to practice with the long a sound.  They will need to cut out th erocket ships that have different words on them (grape, cake, sand, fade, and rag).  If the word has the long a sound, they are to glue that rocketship to the plant a_e.  If the word does not have the long a sound, they glue outside of the planet.

9. While students are completing their worksheets, call the students individually up to assess them using pseudo words.  Have the student read the pseudo words that are on flash cards: PLAKE, SHRAD, GAKE, MAND, FLATE.  They should contain the long a sound as well as the short a sound.

Jane and Babe. Phonics Readers. California: Educational Insights. 1990.
Morrow, Casey. "Blake's Brave Race"
Smith, Christina. "To Make a Cake you must say /A/".

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