Christi Stewart
Emergent Literacy

Student's need to be able to segment spoken words into their separate phonemes.  The ability to segment individual phonemes in words correlates highly with reading achievement.  This lesson will focus on /a/ (short a).  Student's will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken words and practice writing the letter A.

primary paper and pencils for each student
box of Kleenex
A Cat Nap.  Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we are going to work with the letter A today.  We are going to give it the name /a/.  It is important for us to understand that A sometimes says /a/ so that we can tell the difference in cat and Kate when reading a book.
2. Ask students: What is the sound we make when we sneeze? (aaachew!)  The aaa sound at the beginning of aaachew is the sound we are looking for in words today.  I am going to sound out a word and you tell me if you hear the /a/ sound.  Maaap, stooop, haaand, geeet, maaan.
3. Now letís try a tongue twister.  Repeat after me.  "Alley the alligator is an American astronaut."  Now let's say it and stretch out the /a/.  "Aaalley the aaaaligator is aaan Aaamerican aaastronaut."
4. Instruct students to get out their primary paper and pencil.  Now we are going to practice writing the letter A.  For capital A, 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, don't start at the fence.  Start under the fence.  Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down.
5. We are going to practice listening for the /a/ sound in words I say.  (Pass out a Kleenex to every student).  When you hear me say a word with the /a/ sound raise your tissue in the air.  The first word is bat, glove, cash, coin, fat, skinny, nap, car, and truck.
6. Read A Cat Nap.   Use a big book and read aloud to class.  Then have students participate in shared reading of the book.
7. For assessment have students write one /a/ word in their journal and then write a few sentences using that word.  If students need help give them a fun topic for their journal..

Eldredge, J. Lloyd (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  New Jersey: Merrill,
    1995. pp.15

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