Allie the Active Alligator

Emergent Literacy Design

By: Alea Kent


Rationale: One of the most important factors in whether or not a child will be a successful reader depends on if they know the alphabetic principle. Children must be able to identify both the phoneme and grapheme for all 26 letters of the alphabet.  This particular lesson is designed to help children learn the phoneme /a/ and its grapheme A or a. They will do this by repeating an /a/ filled tongue tickler, detecting /a/ in spoken words, writing the grapheme for /a/, and completing a worksheet where they will identify which words have the /a/ sound.



-tongue tickler written on paper or board: Allie the active alligator goes on an adventure to the avid doctor.

-primary paper

-paper with a and A on it


-identifying phoneme /a/ worksheet (attached)

-book: Pat's Jam



1. ���Sometimes, it gets confusing trying to remember what sound goes with what letter. So, today we are going to talk about the letter A. (Show them A and a on a piece of paper). A makes an /a/ sound. It reminds me of when I hear a baby crying. They make the /a/ sound.  Can you make the /a/ noise with me?  Don't forget when you are saying it to open your mouth wide like a baby crying.���


2. ���Now we are going to say a few words with the /a/ sound. Say them with me.��� When saying the words with the child, exaggerate the /a/ sound. Some example words are bat, cab, mad, grab, flag, and lamp.


3. ���Now we are going to practice our tongue tickler. This will help us work on the /a/ sound. Ready. I will say it once. Then we will say it together slowly, and finally we will say it together at normal speed. Allie the active alligator goes on an adventure to the avid doctor.


4. ���Now we are going to practice writing a.��� Model for the student how to write A and a. ���To write A, we start at the sidewalk and make a diagonal line to the rooftop. Without picking up your pencil, draw a diagonal line down in the opposite direction of the first line all the way to the sidewalk. Finally, connect the two lines on the fence.��� Then let them practice a few times on the primary paper.


5. ���Great job so far! Now we are going to practice one more activity. Here is a piece of paper with several different pictures on it. I need you to circle the pictures that have the /a/ sound in them.��� (Worksheet is attached)


6. ���Now we are going to finish with a story, Pat's Jam by  Shelia Cushman.��� Give book talk: ���Pat is a rat who loves to ride in his van. One day, his friend, Pam, joins him in his van. They each bring some food to go along with them.. Hope they checked the gas gauge! Now, let's read to find out what happens. Every time you hear the /a/ sound, I want you to open your mouth wide like a baby crying.���



Bruce Murray.  Emergent Literacy Lesson. "Brush Your Teeth with F".


Adams, Marilyn.  Beginning To Read: Thinking and learning about Print:  A Summary. 

 Cushman, Shelia. Pat's Jam. Educational Insights.

Worksheet: Identifying Phonemes

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