"Alice Always Asks for Apples"
Courtney Norgren
Beginning Reading



Rationale: Vowels are said to be one of the hardest concepts to learn. In this lesson students will practice the first vowel, a=/a/. By the end of the lesson the students should be able to identify a=/a/ in written and in spoken words, by using letterboxes, reading books with a=/a/, and writing words with a=/a/. This is great for beginning readers who are just starting to learn vowels.



Dry Erase board and marker

 Picture of an apple

 Primary paper and pencils for each student

Poster board with tongue twister (Alice asks Abby for apples.)

Worksheet with /a/ sound words that contrast with other sound words. /a/ sound words- (cat, sat,  map,  trap) not  /a/ sounds- (dog, sit, pot, pet)

A Fat Cat Sat on the Mat (one copy per student)


 Letter boxes for each student,

  Large letter boxes for teacher

 Small letter tiles for each student (a,b,c,f,g,l,m,p,r,s,t) {sat, map, bat, crab, flag}

 Large letter tiles for teacher (same as above)


1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that sometimes letters can make two different sounds.

Teacher says to class: The vowel A can make the /A/ sound and the /a/ sound.  Today, we are going to learn about short a. To make the /a / sound; open your mouth wide and keep your tongue down. It sounds like a crying baby.  Everyone listen to the sound I make very closely and then we will try it together (Teacher models /a/ sound).  Now let's all try it together.

2. Show a picture of an apple and explain how it starts with a=/a/. Teacher says to class:  Now we are going to learn a tongue twister (Teacher will show the tongue twister "Alice asks Abby for apples." written on the poster board). Now after I say the tongue twister you repeat it after me (Ask students to repeat the twister multiple times). This time we say our tongue twister let's stretch out the /a/ sound that we hear in each word "aaaalice aaaasks for aaaabby for aaaapples" (Ask students to do this twice through).  Now that we are so good at making the /a/ sound, let's try something new!  This time when we make the /a/ sound we are going to pretend we are crying babies (make a crying face).  Are you ready?  Let's try it together (Teacher models gesture for students and says the twister with the students twice through).   Great job boys and girls!

3.  Teacher says to class:  I'm so proud of you making the /a/ sound so well!  Let's take out our primary paper and pencils to practice writing the letter A.  (Teacher models writing upper case A and lower case a on the board). Get your pencils ready!  First let's make an upper case A. For capital A, on your paper start at the rooftop, go down to the sidewalk, then down the slide the other way, and cross the fence. Now let's make lower case a. 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. Great job!  Now let's write upper and lower case A on our paper five times each.

4.  Teacher says to class:  Now we are going to play a game!  I am going to give you two words.  I want you to tell me if you hear the /a/ sound in the first word or the second word.  Do you hear the /a / sound in tip or Tap?  Cat or kitbent or ballhot or hat?  Great job everyone!

5.  Teacher says to class:  Please take out your letter boxes and plastic letter tiles (a,b,c,f,g,l,m,p,r,s,t).  Spread out your letter boxes so that you see 4 colored squares *Remember, each box represents a phoneme (teacher models with large copy) and lay out your letter tiles across the top of the colored squares so you can read them all (teacher models with large letter tiles).  Now we will spell words that have the /a/ sound in them.  I will show you how it works with a practice word.  The word is ; now let's say it together "stack".  The first sound in the word sat is /s/ so an "S" goes in the first box and in second box we hear the "T" sound.  Can you tell me what the next sound is? (Make crying baby gesture)  Right!  The next sound in /a/ so an "A" goes in the third box.  The last sound is /c/, so I will put a "CK" in the fourth box (the /c/ and /k/ make the same sound, so they will go in the same box.  Now let's read our word we just spelled stack- great!  Now the teacher and students will go through these same steps with the following words: map, bag, crab, and flag.

6.  The teacher will now spell the words on the dry erase board and ask the students to read the words together for confirmation of understanding and assessment,

Teacher will hand out a copy of "A Fat Cat Sat on the Mat" to each student

7.  Teacher says to class:  We are going to read this book to ourselves and whenever we get to a word with a=/a/ you are going to make the crying baby face that we have been doing.

8.  For assessment, the teacher will pass out a worksheet with sets of different "a" words and a picture.  The students will match the /a/ word to the picture it represents.  After each student turns in their worksheet, the teacher will give them a color page titled "Apple" and they will color it and keep it in their desk.


Karlin, N.  The Fat Cat Sat on the Mat.  An I Can Read Book Series.  Harper Collins. New York: 1996.

Ashley Ramsey- "Icky Sticky" Reading Genie

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/phonwords.html Reading Genie- examples of words with 4, 5, and 6 phonemes

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