Say Aaaaa for Apple

Beginning to read

By: Jamie Johnson

Rationale:  Children learn to say words by blending sounds and phonemes.  Being phonemic aware is important for beginning readers to decode words in order to read.  Short vowels are often hard for young children to identify there sounds.  This lesson is designed to help children identify and understand the letter a.  This phoneme /a/ is one of the short vowels that are needed to read and write.

Materials: Elkonin boxes; letter tiles for c, a, t, f, r, s, b, and d; big book. A Cat Nap with words using /a/; dry erase board; markers for dry erase board; phoneme picture for /a/ illustrating child with mouth open when a doctor is sticking a popsicle stick in the mouth; primary paper; pencils; word list for reading quiz with words cat, nap, sat, bad, and rat; magnetic letter boxes and letters for board for teachers use


1. Teacher will explain to students how words are made with vowels and consonants.  They will explain the vowels used to make words and explain that the other letters in the alphabet are consonants.  Teacher will say to students that "all words consist of a vowel and a consonant." They will show example of words by pointing out the vowel and the consonant in each word.  Next teacher will explain that each vowel makes its own special sound and that these sounds are important when learning to read and write

2. Teacher will present the new vowel correspondence /a/ to the class by using the phoneme picture of a apple and she will write the letter on the dry erase board.  This will allow the students to see the letter and what sound it makes.  She will explain which sound this is by illustrating for the class.  "Listen class to how this sound is made.  When we say the word apple, the first sound we here is a.  Everyone try saying apple."

3. Teacher will pass out a 3-cell Elkonin box to each student.  She will ask the students to get out the letters c, a, t, f, r, s, b, and d from their letter trays.  Teacher will model how to spell the word nap on the dry erase board and then she will demonstrate on her Elkonin box.  She will then ask the students to spell some words for her.  "Will you spell the word cat?"  Teacher will walk around room to observe and take notes of misspellings.  "Next let's change the word cat to rat." Teacher is still observing and taking notes.  "Now let's spell the word bad.  Good.  The next word I want you to spell is the word sat."  Teacher is still walking around observing.  "The last word I want you to spell is the word fat."

4. Teacher will now write some words on the dry erase board.  These words will be the same as the ones she just called out (cat, rat, bad, and sat).  "I want you to tell me the word I point to."  (Class as a whole will say the word as the teacher points to it).

5. Students will now move to the center of the classroom for the teacher to read them the big book A Cat Nap.  Say to them: "Today we are going to read the book A Cat Nap.  Has anyone ever seen a cat nap?  Well, this book is about a cat that likes to take naps in bad places.  In order for us to see where this cat likes to nap, I will need your help.  As I point to the words I want you to read that word with me.  We will read this book two times so that everyone will get a chance to read."

6.  Message: Who all has a pet?  I want each of you to write me a short message about your pet.

7.  Once the book has been read two times, the students will return to their desk for a short quiz on the words they just learned through the book and through the letter box lesson.  These words will be cat, nap, sat, bad, and rat.


Astonishing A! by Blair Brewer

Cushman, Shelia.  A Cat Nap.  Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990

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