Rationale: Knowledge of phonemes is an important concept for children to master in order to be better at reading, writing, and spelling. Children need to know how to recognize phonemes in relation to spoken words as well as in written form. Short vowels are especially important and often difficult concepts for students to understand. This lesson will focus on a=/a/ or the short a phoneme. Students will learn how the short a phoneme is spoken and practice it by finding the phoneme in words.
Tongue Twister (The Angry Alligator asked Adam for an apple) written on board or poster, Chant (The man is scared and yells, “A, a, a”- he keeps running and screams “A,a,a”) written on board or poster, Picture card (picture of a man screaming), Letter tiles (a,m,n,p,e,t,r,b,c,l,y,k,s,f,d), Elkonin Boxes (one set of two and one set of six boxes), A Cat Nap. Educational Insights, 1990., Picture worksheet with some short a words and some without (pictures of: bat, car mat, baseball cap, bag, boy, hippo, monkey, telephone, and a pen.), Pencil
1. “Today we are going to be learning about the sound the letter a makes. Do you think you know what sound the letter a makes? That’s right, a does make the /a/ sound. Let’s all take a look at this picture (bring out and hold up picture of a man screaming) what do you think he is doing in this picture? That’s right he’s screaming aaaaaaa, just like the letter a sound. So today when we hear a say /a/ we are going to put our hands on our cheeks and yell /a/!”
2. “Now I am going to read you a quick chant and then I want you to repeat it after me. The man is scared and yells, “A, a, a”- he keeps running and screams “A,a,a.” Now let’s try reading that together. Great Job! This time I want you to put your hands on your cheeks when you hear the /a/ sound ready? The man is scared and yells, “A, a, a(hands on cheek) ”- he keeps running and screams “A,a,a(hands on cheek)”.
3. “Alright boys and girls now we are going to read a silly tongue twister. You ready? I’m going to read it first and then I want you to repeat it after me and make sure you use your screaming faces when you hear /a/. The Angry (put hands on cheeks) Alligator (put hands on cheeks) asked (put hands on cheeks) Adam (put hands of cheeks) for an (put hands on cheeks) apple (put hands on cheeks). Now you try it (read chant again). Awesome job, I knew you could do it!
4. “Now I am going to ask you a few questions. Let’s see if you can hear the /a/ sound when I say it. Do you hear /a/ in pet or nap? (nap) Clap or goal? (clap) Bed or past? (past) Craft or house? (craft)”
5. “Now we are going to use these boxes (bring out boxes). These are calling Elkonin boxes and we use these to help us hear the sounds in words. We are also going to use these tiles to help us spell out the sounds we hear. I am going to show you an example of how these squares and then you can do it. First I am going to unfold three of my boxes because rat has three sounds, /r/ /a/ /t/. I am going to start with the first sound I hear in rat. R-R-R-at. I hear the /r/ sound. I will place the letter “r” in the first letterbox. The next sound I hear is like the man screaming the /a/ sound. I am going to place the letter “a” in the second letterbox, because it is the second sound I hear. Now I have ra-. To finish I need to find the last sound in the word rat. Ra-t-t-t. I hear the /t/ sound, which means I will place the letter “t” in the last letterbox. Then read the word, rat. Do you think you can you can do the next few? Ok for these words you are going to need 3 boxes. Give students words to fill in boxes: nap, man, pet, ran, nab. (After they have placed the letters in the boxes have them read the word.) Good Job now we are going to need 4 boxes. Give students words to fill in boxes: crab, clap, yank, past. (After they have placed the letters in the boxes have them read the word.) Awesome! Now we are going to need 5 boxes. Give students words to fill in boxes: craft and clasp. (After they have placed the letters in the boxes have them read the word.) You are doing so well. Now we are going to need to use our sixth box, this is going to be a big word but I know you can do it! Ready? The word is strand.” (After they have placed the letters in the boxes have them read the word.)
6. “Now we are going to read A Cat Nap. This story is about a cat named tab, One day Tab takes a nap in a bag. Sam picks up the bag while tab is sleeping. To see where he takes Tab we have to read A Cat Nap.
Assessment: Now I am going to see if you can hear the /a/ sound on this page. I want you to tell me what some of these objects are before you begin. Good job. Now I want you to color the short /a/ pictures you see and the words that don’t have the /a/ sound I want you to cross those out.
A Cat Nap. Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990
Stokes, Allison. "Aaa-aaa-aaa-choo!!"
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