Andy the Alligator


Grace Jensen

Beginning Reading


Rationale: For beginning readers, vowels are very important to learn in their quest for fluent reading skills.  Students need to learn the vowels and their sounds to be able to sound out words.  This lesson works with the vowel a and learning the /a/=/a/ correspondence by using letterboxes, reading words and books that contain the /a/ correspondence.

1. The book A Cat Nap by Educational Insights c1990.

2. Picture with baby crying with the /a/ sound (

3. A chart with the tongue twister. "Alan and Ann asked if Amy's active animals were angry."

4. Letterboxes for each student. (a, n, t, b, p, d, s, c, l)

6. List of the words the students will spell.

~Ant, Bat, At, Pad, Fit, Sad, Cat, Clap

7. Larger letterbox and letters for demonstration

8. Primary paper

9. Pencils

10. Projector

11. Cards with different pseudowords

            ~dag, kam, wan, las, taf

1. "Today, boys and girls, we are going to work with the letter a.  Can anyone tell me what sound the letter a makes? Great! It makes the sound /a/.  It sounds like a baby crying, doesn't it?  Let's all cry like babies and make that /a/ sound.  aaaaaaa.  Great!  To help you can remember the sound, I will hold up the picture of the baby crying during our lesson."

2. "We hear that /a/ sound in a lot of words we read and say, don't we?  Like 'at', 'cat', or 'hat'." Because we hear this sound so much we are going to learn all about it today!"

3. "Now let's do a fun tongue twister that has our /a/ sound in it! I will read it to you first then we will read it all together. 'Alan and Ann asked if Amy's active animals were angry'. Ok now everyone! 'Alan and Ann asked if Amy's active animals were angry'.  Great Job!"

4. Next, we will do a letterbox lesson.  I will give students their letterboxes and letters (a, n, t, b, p, d, s, c, l).  Then I will explain to the students what they are going to do.  "We are going to do our letterboxes now! I will say a word and I want you to spell it using the letters and letterboxes I gave you.  Remember each letterbox represents one sound!" I will then place my letterboxes on the projector and model how to do it. "I am going to spell the word 'mad'.  I am going to put the m in the first box because it makes the /m/ sound.  Next I will put the a in the next box because it makes the /a/ sound.   Now, for the third box I am going put the p because the make the /p/ sound."

5. "Now I am going to give you some words that I want you to spell in your letterboxes: 2. at 3. ant, pad, bat, fit, sad, cat 4. clap

6. When everyone has spelled the words I will spell them on the projector and have the students read them to me. ("You all did a fantastic job with your letterbox lesson! You did really well with the /a/ sound!").

7. "Now we are going to read the book A Cat Nap! How many of you have cats at home? Are any of the cats really lazy and like to sleep anywhere and anytime they can? Well, this book is about a lazy cat that decided to take a nap in his owner's bag! You'll never guess what happens when the owner takes the bag without knowing his cat is in it! Let's read to find out‰¥Ï"

8. After we have read the book I will give each student primary paper and pencils and they will write about a funny cat they have.  If they don't have one, they can make up a story. "Ok everyone! Now we are all going to use the /a/ sound we learned and write about a silly cat we know! If you do not know a cat to write about you can be creative and make a story up!"


Assessment: Have each student read pseudowords containing the a= /a/ correspondence.  Use the following pseudowords (dag, kam, wan, las, taf).



1. A Cat Nap by Education Insights c1990.

2. Powell, Megan. Allen the Alligator. reading_genie/voyages/powellbr.html.

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