Standing Outside With My Mouth Open Wide,



Beginning Reading

Marguerite DeWitt

Children should recognize the phonemes that are represented by letters in spoken words. One part of this process is recognizing individual phonemes. In this lesson, Children will be learn to identify the phoneme /a/, by engaging in using chanting a tongue twister, determining if /a/ is in a spoken word, representing /a/ on paper, and playing a fun detective game to practice finding /a/.

-Tongue Twister on chart paper- "Al's asked for apples as an afternoon snack".
-Primary Paper
-Picture of standing outside with their mouth open wide with lemon drops and gum drops raining down.
-A copy of "Pat's Jam" for each student (Cushman, S (1990). Pat's Jam Carson , CA : Educational Insights)

1. To introduce the lesson, explain to the students that our mouth helps us make certain sounds in words. "Today, we will be working with the mouth move that helps us make the sound for the letter /a/. We can look for this sound in spoken words and when we are reading written words".

2. Ask the students if they know the song about raindrops being lemon drops and gum drops. For those who don't know the song, review the lyrics and then sing it as a class.  Point out the part of the song that goes /a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/-/a/.  "We are going to focus on the /a/ /a/ part today. Everyone make this sound /a/ /a/ /a/. What is your mouth doing? Is it almost closed? No, it is pretty wide open isn't it? I want all of us to remember what we do with our mouths to make this sound. We will be looking for this sound in spoken words and written words today".

3. Lets try this tongue twister on our chart.
- Teacher: "Al asked for apples as an afternoon snack."
- "Let's all say it together: 'Al asked for apples as an afternoon snack'".
- "Now let's stretch out the /a/ at the beginning of the words: 'Aaaaaal aaaaasked for aaaaaples aaaaaas aaaaaan aaaaafternoon snaaaaack'".
-"This time break the /a/ away from the rest of the word: '/a/l /a/sked for /a/pples /a/s /a/n /a/fternoon snack'".

4. Pass out primary paper and pencils. "We can also use what we know about this new letter and its sound to write words.'Let's practice writing the letter a. Demonstrate for student: start below the fence, circle down to the sidewalk, come back up and touch the fence, and move straight back down to the sidewalk'". Show students you're a.  "Practice making your 'a' on your paper. I will come around and check everyone's work".

5. "Now I am going to show you how to find /a/ in the word snack. First I need to stretch it out and say it slowly and listen for the mouth open wide. Sssssnnnnaaaaakkkkk. Ssssnnnnaaaaa. I can hear /a/ in the middle of snack!"

6. Ask students to listen and see if they hear the mouth open wide in: last or first? sad or smile?  happy or frown? cat or dog? fast or slow? cast or crutch?

7. "Does anyone like to eat jam on their toast in the morning or on their biscuit? Pat does! In the book, Pat's Jam Pat buys some jam to take home to eat. But, before he can make it home his car runs out of gas! What will he do?  Do you think he will make it home to eat his jam? You will have to read the book to find out!"  Students will buddy read the story together and I will walk around to monitor their progress.

The students' understanding  will be assessed by their recognition of psuedowords through interview assessment.  This will determine their understanding of the phoneme and make sure they are not simply memorizing familiar words. The list is composed of the words: gad, dast, mag, spad, pags, lav, fasp, zad, and fap.

Reference: Katie Bugg, Excuse Me I'm About to…/a/ /a/ CHOO! Sneeze

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