Image Preview

Jessi Hodge

Aaaaaaa, Don’t Cry Baby
Beginning to Read


Rationale: In order for children to read and spell words they need an understanding that letters stand for phonemes.  “Phonemic awareness focuses on children’s understanding of the nature of spoken words. (Eldredge, p. 30) ” Phonemic awareness is an indicator that children are ready to begin reading. Through this lesson children will show an understanding of the phoneme a =/a/.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; poster board with “Adam the alligator had apples on his mat” written on it and the book A Cat Nap by Educational Insights.


1.) Introduce the lesson. “Today we are going to talk about the letter a and the sound it makes.  Can anyone tell me what the letter a sounds like? Good! That’s right a makes the /a/ sound.”

2.) “Have you ever heard a baby cry? What does that baby sound like? It says /a/. That’s right the baby says the sound for the letter a. We are going to see if we can act like a baby and say /a/. Very good, you doing an excellent job making the baby sound. 

3.) “Now we are going to try to say a tongue twister. Are you ready? Okay, here it is. Everyone repeat after me. Adam the alligator had apples on his mat. That was great. Now every time we hear /a/. I want us to use a gesture so we can remember that sound easier.” I will show students the gesture of the baby crying and putting our hands up to our eyes. The students will practice doing this when they hear /a/ in the tongue twister.

4.) Ask the students to take out their primary paper and pencil.  “Now that we know what a says. We are going to write out our a so that we can practice writing words that say /a/. Remember that when writing an a we start at the fence come around to the ground, complete the circle and add a tail on at the end. Way to go, you are doing a great job.”

5.) “Now boys and girls I am now going to say some words. Each time you hear a word with the /a/ sound I want you to do our gesture like a crying baby. If you don’t hear the /a/ sound I want you to say…Awe Shucks! Apples, cookie, add, chop, grape, alligator, nap, can, tug, slap

6.) We will end this lesson by reading A Cat Nap. I will read the book to the students while they continue to recognize the sounds and complete the gestures when they hear the /a/ sound. I will assess by using miscue analysis in small groups after the completion of the lesson. This miscue analysis will help me know what correspondences the students are missing and what needs to be taught or reviewed.



Emily Wheeler. Alabama Alligators.

Eldredge, Lloyd J. (2005). Teach Decoding: Why and How. Pearson Education, Inc. New Jersey. P.30.