A? Speak up, I
can’t hear you!
order to become phonemically aware children need to understand and be
with the various sounds that make up written words. Vowel sounds are the most important
children can learn because they can be found in every written and
word. Without the knowledge of vowel sounds, written words cannot
properly decoded. This lesson will focus on the vowel
= /A/. The lesson will develop
the student’s awareness of a_e =/A/, by giving them instruction and
how to form the long a mouth move, as well as, practice reading
decodable text containing the a_e correspondence. The students will
instruction in decoding the long a
mouth move in words, as well as, practice spelling the words themselves.
paper and pencil for each student; Elkonin letter boxes and appropriate
manipulatives for each student: a, p, e,
b, k, d, t, m, g, l, r, s, n, v, c; chart with “Jake makes a lake
tub”; Jane and Babe book for each student and pseudo-word cards
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
that when we write words, we use letters to represent the different
sounds in those words. Explain that in
order to become good readers, we need to learn how to match the letters
to their sounds. “Today
we’re going to be working with the long a sound but
first, can anyone tell me the short a sound?” Call on volunteer to sound out the short a sound. Reinforce that the
short a sounds like a crying baby.
Instruct entire class to make the /a/ sound while rubbing
their eyes like a crying baby.
- “Now that we all
understand how to make the short a mouth movement,
we’re going to learn how to make the long a mouth
movement. Have you ever
had trouble hearing a question someone asked you? Some people
respond by putting their hand up to their ear while at the same time
saying /A/. Let’s put our hand behind our ear and practice saying
/A/. That is what the long a
sound makes. So today, we
are going to learn that the letters a_e (the blank is for a
consonant) make the /A/ mouth move. ”
try a tongue twister [on chart]. ‘Abe the
ape ate Amy’s acorn.’ How many times do we
hear the long a sound in our tongue twister? Expect for
children to say ‘five times.’ “Let’s
say our tongue twister again and stretch
out the /A/ sound while we put our hand to our ear.
‘Aaaaabe the aaaaape aaaaate Aaaaaamy’s
- Ask for
volunteers to answer the following questions:
- “Do you hear /A/ in wake or walk?”
- “Do you hear /A/ in pet or play?”
- “Do you hear /A/ in made or mad?”
- “Do you hear /A/ in get or game?”
- Each child will be given Elkinon
letter boxes and the appropriate letter manipulatives.
“Now we will practice using our knowledge of the
/A/ sound to spell words in these letter boxes. Each
box will represent one sound, so 1 box = 1 sound. However,
when a word ends in e, that e is
silent so we know to say that previous vowel’s name.
For example, the e at the end of make tells us to say that vowel’s name: a. Since that e is silent, it
does not go in a box; it is put outside of the last box.
So make will be spelled with the letter
boxes like so (teacher models using large letter boxes and letter
manipulatives): it has three mouth movements, /m/ /A/ /k/,
so we need to unfold three Elkinon letter boxes. M will go in the first box because it is the first sound
we hear in make. A will go in the second box because it is the second
sound we hear in make. And
k will go in the third box because it is the last
sound we hear in make. Because
e doesn’t have a sound of its own in this word, it
will go outside of the box containing k.
That is the correct way to spell make.”
- Instruct students that they will be
spelling words in the letter boxes using the letter manipulatives just
the way I did. Have students unfold two
letter boxes. Remind children that this
means there are two sounds, two mouth movements in our first word. “Spell: ape.” Have students unfold three letter boxes. “Spell: bake, date, map.” Have students unfold four letter boxes. “Spell: glare, snake,
brave, skate.” Finally, have the
students unfold five letter boxes. “Spell: scrape.” Be
sure to include review words from previous letterbox lessons.
- Using the large letter boxes and
manipulatives, ask each student in your group to spell one of the
previous words: ape, bake, date, map, glare, snake, brave,
skate, scrape. After they have read
the words individually, instruct the students to read them together as
you point to each word.
- Distribute class set of Jane and
Babe to each student. Give book talk: “Jane goes to visit Babe at the zoo but Babe is asleep and
Jane can’t seem to wake him up. What will
she do to wake him up? You’ll have to read
to find out how she does this and what fun things they do together.” Instruct students to read the book
individually. Once all the students are
done reading, have them find five words in the book that contain the
/A/ sound. Ask for volunteers to give a
word with the /A/ sound they found. Compile
the list on the board.
each student read note cards with pseudo-words on them. Some words you
include: FAP, VATE, JAT, MAVE, PAP, and BAVE. This
will review a =/a/ and a_e=/A/, assuring that each student knows the
Cushman, Sheila. Jane
and Babe. Educational Insights: Carson, CA,
Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The letterbox
lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.
The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.
Leech, Traci. “Oh My!” http://www.auburn.edu/%7Emurraba/begin/leechbr.html.
here to return to Perspectives.