Aaaa!!! Being Happy!!!

Beginning Reading Lesson Plan
Shay Mink

Rationale: I am teaching this lesson to students so that they will become more fluent readers. My goal is that student's
                comprehension of the text will increase as their frustration decreases and becomes diminished.  Through this
                lesson plan, students will learn /a/ (short a) by tongue twisters, identifying /a / in spoken language and
                recognizing /a/ in several words, these are all fun and interesting word strategies will that will help the
                student in their reading achievement. "Children need a word identification strategy to help them when their
                word recognition skills are limited." (Eldredge p.107)

Materials:   1.  One large chart with the tongue twister, "Allen the Alligator nagged Alice the Cat to quit taking a nap"
                    2. Each student needs a copy of A Cat Nap.
                    3. Each student needs a pencil and a piece of primary paper.
                    4. Lyrics to, "Alice the Camel."
                    5. Each student needs a dry-erase board, a dry-erase marker and a tissue.


  1. 1. Helpful reading hints are so important to readers because they allow us different ways to figure out words that are giving us a hard time.  Today we are going to learn some new tricks to help us remember that short a says /a/.
  2. 2. Has your mom ever been taking your picture and wanted you to make a silly, so with your biggest grin you look into the camera and open your mouth as wide as you can and yell, "Aaaa!!"?  Well, that is the sound that short a makes.  I am going to hold up my fingers like they are a camera and take a picture of you and I want you to make a goofy face and yell "Aaaaa!"
  3. 3. Now we have a tongue twister for the day!!!!  Reveal the chart with " Allen the Alligator nagged Alice the Cat to quit taking a nap."  Everybody say it together.  Now, we acre going to say it again and we are going to hold out the Ahhh sound in the words: A-A-Allen the A-A-Alligator n-a-a-agged A-A-Alice the ca-a-at to quit taking a na-a-ap.  Good job!!!  Now, we are going to try and do the tongue twister again, but this time we are going to break-off the /a/ from the word: "/a/ llen the /a/  lligator  n  /a/  gged  /a/  lice the c  /a/  t to quit taking a n  /a/  p.  Great job!!!  You did such a great job that I am going to take another picture of you, everyone say "aaa!"  I want everyone to notice that on our tongue twister chart that all the a's do not say Ahh, because they are not short a's.  Some of the a's say its name /A/.
  4. 4. Okay, now we are going to take out our special lined paper and we are going to practice making the letter A.  To make a lowercase a, don't start at the fence, start just under the fence.  Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight.  I am going to walk around and look at all of your little a's and when I see one that looks just right, I am going to make a smiley face on your paper and then I want you to make a row of a's just like that one.
  5. 5. Now, we are going to sing a song that will let us know if we understand the little a sound.  We are going to sing the song, Alice the Camel.  (Most children should know this song from pre-school).  When we sing the song and we hear the Ahhh!!! Sound, we are going to stand up, and then we are going to sit down the next time we hear it.  Everybody begin!!!  "/a/lice the c/a/mal h/a/s five humps, /a/lice the c/a/mel h/a/s five humps, /a/lice the c/a/mel h/a/s five humps so go /a/lice go·.one, two, three, four, five!!  And the song goes on until she has no humps, where they discover that Alice is a horse.



    Lyrics to Alice the Camel:
    Alice the camel has five humps
    Alice the camel has five humps
    Alice the camel has five humps
    So go Alice go!!!
    One, Two, Three, Four, Five

    Continue the song going down one nuumber each time until one. It goes as follows.
    Alice the camel has no humps
    Alice the camel has no humps
    Alice the camel has no humps
    Because Alice is a horse.

  7. 6. Everyone needs to take out their dry-erase boards, a dry erase marker and a tissue to erase with.  I want you to write down as many words as you can think of that have the letter a in them.  You can look around the room and one the word wall and think about all our spelling words.  When you have written at least 10 words that have the letter a in them, I want you to review the words and mark out the ones that have the long a sound, so that all the words left make the Aaaa! sound.  Teacher will go through the classroom and make sure that the students are understanding the concept.  If the students are having trouble, she will remind them of the tongue twister and the silly picture sound and the Alice the Camel song.
  8. 7.  Today we are going to read a new book about a cat who really wants to take a nap, but can't find a place to sleep.  Will he ever find soemtwhere to lay his head?  We will have to read and find out.  I am going to pass out a new book to every student.  When you receive your copy of A Cat Nap, you may begin whisper reading the book.  I am going to come around and listen to everyone read.  If you need help with a word, make sure that you remember your new strategies with the tongue twister, song, and the silly picture face.
  9. 8. For assessment the teacher will go around and listen to each student whisper read.  She will make sure that they are no missing more than one word on each page and if they struggle over a word, have them go back and reread the sentence.  When the students are finished with the book, they are to write in their journal a summary of the book and describe places they like to take naps.  The journals are a form of assessing comprehension.

              Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Prentice-Hall. 1995. p.107

              (1990) A Cat Nap.    Phonics Readers Long Vowels. Educational Insights.

Click here to return to Openings