Aaaaa is for Short /a/

Beginning Reading

Ashley Boulware


For children to understand reading, they first need to understand that phonemes are sounds in a spoken word. Children must learn the vowels, which are usually harder for children to decode, to learn how to sound out the words. In this lesson the children will be learning the /a/ =/a/ correspondence. The children will have practice with both written and spoken representations of /a/ = /a/.


Picture of /a/ and phoneme letter picture
Sentence strip with tongue twister printed on it: {Aunt Ashley wants her amazing apple back.}
Worksheet on short /a/
Elkonin boxes for each student {bat, apple, sack, cap, jam, at}
Letters: {a,b,c,e,j,k,l,m,p,p,s,t}
The book A Cat Nap for each student
Primary paper and pencil






1. We are going to learn the sound of the letter /a/ today! Let's look at this picture and see if we can figure out what sound /a/ makes. (show phoneme letter picture) That's correct it makes the /a/ sound like a baby crying.

2. Let's practice writing the letter Aa. Everyone watch me write an Aa on the board. For capital A we start at the rooftop, go down the slide to the sidewalk, then down the slide the other way, and cross at the fence. For lowercase a we start under the fence.  Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down. Now get out your paper and pencil and let's try it together. (go through capital A and lowercase a with the children) Okay, now I want you to write capital A's until I say stop. (walk around and make sure all the children are forming them correctly) Stop! Now same thing with lowercase a. Write lowercase a's until I say stop. (walk around and make sure all children are forming them correctly) Great!

3. Now let's read our tongue twister together. When I point to the words I want you to try to sound them out so we can figure out the words together. Ready? (read the tongue twister as the children sound out the letters) Now let䴜s read it together and when you hear the /a/ sound let's stretch it out. Let's try it! Aaaaunt Aaaashley waaaants her aaaamazing aaaapple baaaack. This time when you hear the /a/ sound lets not only stretch out the /a/ sound but let's also rub our fists by our eyes like we are crying. Great!

4. Everyone take out your letter boxes. I am going to read some words and I want you to spell them out in your letter boxes. Remember the rules of the letter boxes. (go over rules) I am going to do one for you. Tramp t r a m p . (show on overhead) Now it's your turn. At, apple, sack, cap, jam, bat. (give children chance to spell the words in the letter boxes. Walk around and check. Help children that need help. After everyone has a chance to get it correct model it for them on the overhead.)

5. Now let's read the book A Cat Nap. Everyone partner up. Before we read let me tell you a little about the book. (give short book talk) Now to find out what happens you and your partner must read A Cat Nap. If you have any problems raise your hand and I will come help. After everyone has finished reading it we will have a short discussion about what happened in the book.

6. Now I am passing out a worksheet. I want you to do this on your own. You will write a capital A and lowercase a across the top of the sheet. Then you will look at the pictures. If the picture contains the short /a/ sound write an /a/ in the bubble above it. If not, put a x in the bubble. Turn them in on my desk when you are finished.


Assessment: I will listen to the students as they are reading aloud to their partner. I will pay attention to decoding problems as well as test their comprehension by the discussion following their reading. I will pass out the worksheet for them to do idependently which allows me to see if they can identify the short a sound by writing the letter a beside the picture that contains a letter a.




Reading Genie Website

Aaaa-Aaaa-Apple!  By Jessica Evans

A Cat Nap by Educational Insights

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