Beth Tyler
Beginning Reading Lesson

"Baaaaa", said the Sheep

RATIONALE: A strong sense of phonemic awareness is essential in order for children to learn how to read and spell words. To help further phonetic cue reading, they must be taught significant letter-sound correspondences necessary for decoding words. Of all the phonemes, short vowels are probably the hardest to identify. In the lesson I will be focusing on the vowel correspondence a=/a/. Students will learn how to recognize the /a/ sound in spoken words, practice spelling /a/ words in the letterbox, and spot the /a/ sound in words on their own.

Materials: Poster with "Ann and Adam ate apples and ran from ants" on it, letterbox for each child and the letters a, b, d, f, g, l, m, n, r, s, and t, individual copies of Fat Cat by Nora Gaydos, primary paper and pencil

1. Introduce the lesson by telling the students we will be learning about the letter a, and the sound that it makes. Explain to the class the importance of learning the sounds, particularly vowels. Also explain that all words in books are made up of letters, which make sounds. The letter a is an important and fun letter and sound. Today we will learn methods on how to read and spell words with the /a/ sound.

2. Ask the students: have you ever heard the noise that sheep make? What do they sound like? That's right!!!  Baaaaa  Notice the a sound /a/. You can also hear this sound in words like cat, nap, and sad. You hear the /a/ sound in the middle of all those words. Be listening today for other words that may have that /a/ sound.

3. Now I have a fun tongue twister. Display the poster. Read the twister to the class, "Ann and Adam ate apples then ran from the ants".  Now lets all read it together. Now we will read it again, but this time it will be a little different. We are going to stretch out the /a/ sound in each word, Ann would be said Aaaaaan. Lets all say it together. Great. Can anyone tell me a word they heard with the /a/ sound in it? How about words without the /a/ sound? Good Job!

4. Ask the students to take out primary paper and pencil. Most of you already know how to write the letter a. We are going to practice incase someone has forgotten. On the board write an a, then go through the steps: for lowercase a, you start under the fence then you go around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down. Can anyone tell me what sound this make? On three lets all say it together! Please write five a's on your paper to represent the /a/ sound. The teacher can also be modeling while students are writing. Walk around and view everyone's a's. Wonderful work everyone!

5. Now it is time for our letterboxes! Handout letterboxes and the appropriate letters. Now we will use what we have learned today, about the letter a=/a/, to spell words. Let's start with the word cat. This word has three sounds so we will open three boxes, /c/ /a/ /t/. The first sound I hear, in cat, is c-c-c-at. I hear the /c/ sound, so I will place the letter c in the first box. (Modeling throughout as students follow along with their letterboxes) The next sound I hear is our /a/ sound, from baaaaaa.  I then place an a in the second box. Now I have /c/ /a/, ca. To finish cat I need the last letter, /t/. Now we have the word cat. Do you hear /a/ in: mat or sit, bed or bad, stamp or truck? I will have the following words written on the board: fat, man, sad, and bad. I will ask the students to continue with the words on the board. When finished I will ask each student to explain to their neighbor how they spelled the word fat. Next the group will try four phoneme words: flag, glad, and cram. While the students are working on this I will go around to students and ask them to read a word out loud to me and explain.

6. I will then hand out a book to each student.  I will ask the students to reread the book that I read aloud the previous day. This book has a lot of words with the /a/ sound. This book will be easier because we learned today that a=/a/. Please read the book quietly. If you need to space yourself out so you can concentrate find a quite spot in the room. I will come around and listen to you while you are reading quietly. When you are finished reading come back to your desk, I would like for you to write down some of those /a/ words from the book. Can someone tell me a /a/ word from the book? Write the words on the board, so the all the students can see them.

7. For assessment I will give the student picture pages and ask them to circle the pictures that have the /a/ sound in the word. Then go back and write the word underneath the picture.

(Web page entitled The Baby is Crying by Meagan Strider)
(Web page entitled "Aaaa!!" Who Woke Up the Baby? By Allison Felton)

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