Aaaaaaa!! The Crying Baby

By:Hannah Bailey

Rationale:    In order for children to read they must come to see that spellings and letters map out the phoneme sequences, sounds, or mouth moves in spoken words.  They need to learn the correspondence between each letter and its phoneme.  In this lesson students will learn that the written letter a represents /a/.  They will practice recognizing /a/ in words they hear and in words as they see in readings.  They also will practice spelling words with /a/.  Learning this correspondence will enable them to decode words containing /a/ moving students one correspondence at a time towards becoming fluent readers.

Materials: primary paper and pencil letter boxes and letters (each child) multiple copies of worksheet (matching words to pictures)


1.  Begin by explaining to students that we are still learning the special code of writing in order to become better and better readers.  To read the code you must know what sound each letter represents. Review previous correspondences learned by asking students what sound or mouth moves other short vowels make. 

2. The letter we are going to learn about today is a.  Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  Let practice writing a.  Model on the board writing the letter a.  Start at the fence line make a curved line down till you touch the sidewalk but don't stop here continue the curve around till you end up where you started then draw a straight line back downand stop on the sidewalk.  As students practice drawing a row of a's walk around the room observing and checking they are correctly writing an a.

3. When you see this letter a in words it stands for the mouth move /a/.  It is like the sound you hear when a baby is crying “Aaaaaa” One way to remember that is to rub your eyes like a crying baby.  Let's all rub our eyes and make the /a/ sound together.  Good job!

4. Write the tongue twister on the board:  Arthurs Aunt Agatha acts like an alligator. Read it to the students.  On the second reading have the students say it with you.  Can you hear the /a/ sound in the words?  Lets search out the /a/ sounds in this tongue twister so we can hear them better.

Aaaaa-rthurs Aaaaa-unt Aaaaaa-gatha aaaaa-cts like aaaaa-n aaaaa-lligator  Now lets try separating the /a/ sound.  Everyone say it together.  /a/rthurs /a/unt /a/gatha /a/cts like /a/n /a/lligator. Good job! You did a wonderful job crying like s baby and saying /a/. 

5. Have students take out their letterboxes and letters.  We are going to use what we just learned about the letter a to spell words.  I will call out a word and you can spell it using the letterboxes.  Before each word I call out I will tell you how many boxes to use.  Each sound or mouth move in the word will go in a box. For example, the word I am going to spell is hat.  I will use three boxes (draw three boxes on the board), because it has three sounds.  The first sound I hear is /h/.  I will place the letter h in the first box (model on board).  Now it might help to say the word again to yourself, hat.  The second sound I hear is /a/.  We just learned the letter a stands for /a/, so I will place the a in the second box (model on the board).  The last sound I hear is /t/.  I will place the t in the third box (model on board).  I spelled the word hat. Now you try. The words I will call out are:  Lap, mat, sam, gas (3)bank, glass, crab(4), and splat (5).  After the students spell a word, we as a class will spell the word and I will write it on the board.

6. Divide the students into partners.  Give each partner a copy of the book, A cat nap.  Have each partner to go back and forth reading a page to each other. Remind students if they are reading and get stuck there are things you can do to help yourself.  Say:  First, try to read the word by covering parts of it up like I showed you earlier.  Then read the sentence all the way through.  Think about if the sentence makes sense.  Then change words that do not make sense. Always after your done correcting reread the sentence through one time with the corrections.  I will be walking around to help you if you need it.

7.  To end this lesson, I will read the story to the students and we will discuss and talk about the story as we read.  The students will reflect on the story.  For the next lesson we will use this book by rereading a familiar text.

8. To assess the students they will each be given a worksheet where they will be asked to circle the picture of the objects that contain the  a=/a/ sound.


The Baby's Crying…Aaa! By: Christen Walton

Decodable book A Cat Nap by Sheila Cushman, Rona Kornblum Educational Insights


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