A-a-a! Am I Sick?

Mary Jo Blackmon

Rationale: Phoneme awareness is very important. However, children struggle with learning different sounds as they go with the different letters. The sound that a "short a" makes is one of the first vowels that children should learn. Therefore, today I will be teaching my child about /a/= a. I will teach them this by showing the children how to write an a and by having them practice writing an a.


-White board

-white board marker

-tongue tickler: Ashley asks in a flash for the apple in the sack.


-Paper (with the fence and ditch)


1. I will first explain to the child that we will be going over the a sound that sounds like aaa. today. I will ask them if they have ever been to the doctor. I will then ask them if they have ever been sick. When they say that they have been sick I will ask them if they have ever been at the doctor and had the reaction aaa am I sick?

2. Then I will bridge the gap from asking questions to them trying to make the sound. I will say, "open your mouth really wide and make the "Aaa" sound with me. This sound is made in many many words. Can you name any words that have the aaa sound? There is track- traaaack, bat- baaaat, and Adam- aaaadam. Did you hear how in those words I saw that there was an "a" and so I made the aaa sound? Does anyone know what an a looks like? Here, I will show you." I will get out the white board and show them how an a is formed. I will say, "you place your pencil right in the middle of the fence and you go around in a circle just like you are making a picture of a mouth wide open saying aaaa. Once you have made the open mouth, you will put your pencil back up where you started and you will bring it down and make a curl to the right side."

4. "Now I want you to try to draw an a. Everyone try and write an a on their piece of paper that I just passed out." "Okay good now I want you to tell me which word has an a in it? Maaaad or Siiiiit? Which word has the same aaa sound that we practiced earlier? Very good! Maaaad has the a sound that we said earlier! Now I want you to practice saying your a sound by saying this tongue tickler, "Ashley asks in a flash for the apple in the sack."

5. I want each of you to turn to a partner and you will take turns with your partner. All of the partner #1 will say the tongue tickler together as a class. While they are doing this, partner #2 will be listening to you. After you get done, they will help point out your mistakes if you get something wrong. The partners will then switch and partner #1 will be listening to partner #2 say the tongue tickler. Be thinking while you are saying the tongue tickler about how you just learned that the a in the words all make the aaa sound.

6. As an assessment for the child, I will give them paper to write on and I will ask them to write the letter a. I will also have them tell me 2 words that have the aaa sound in them. If the students cannot write the letter a or give me an example of a word with the aaa sound in it, then they have not grasped the concept.

Reference: Scholastic. Where Teachers Come First. "Short Vowels" http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/lessonplan.jsp?id=570 

Erin Hale. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/solutions/haleel.htm

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