Aaaaa, Crying Baby


Valerie Vila

Beginning Reading Lesson



It is important that before students become successful readers, they first must understand a grapheme/phoneme relationship. The purpose of this lesson is to help children comprehend the vowel correspondence a= /a/.



Picture of a baby crying

Chart paper with tongue twister (Amber’s ants ate Ashley’s apple)

Book: A Cat Nap

Elkonin boxes (3 letterboxes for each student and a set for the teacher)

Letter tiles (a, b, c, n, p, r, t, g, f)

Chart paper with words written on it: nap, bat, cat, rat, fan, bag

Primary paper


Worksheet: words (nap, cat, rat, fan, bag, bat) on one column and pictures of those words on another column



1. Today we are going to learn the short vowel a= /a/. The vowel /a/ makes the aaa sound. Has anyone every heard a baby crying? Whenever I hear a baby crying I think, aaaa crying baby. Now I want everyone to pretend we are hearing a baby crying for a long time and now say aaaa crying baby.

2. Now we are going to go over the tongue twister that is written on chart paper. I am going to read it first then I want you to repeat it after me: Amber’s ants ate Ashley’s apple. Now, lets stretch out the a = /a/. /a/mbers /a/nts /a/te /a/shley’s /a/pple.

3. Now I am going to give you each three letterboxes and a bag of letters. I want everyone to get out all the letters and line them up so you can see each of them. Before, we start spelling I am going to first show you how to spell the first word. I will say lets spell the word hard. Lets listen to how many sounds are in the word. /h/ /a/ /r/ /d/. I hear four sounds. I will ask what the first sound the students here. Yes, the first sound you hear is /h/, which is what letter? That’s right, the letter h. Next, I hear the /a/ sound. What letter is that? Correct, the letter a. What the is next sound that you hear. That’s correct the /r/ sound, which is what letter? Right the letter r. Now what sound do you hear at the end? Yes, the /d/ sound which is what letter? That is great, it is the letter d. Now, that I have modeled how to spell the first word I want you to spell the next word, nap. Then I will have the spell bat, cat, rat, fish, fan, bag. While they are spelling the words I will walk around, monitor, and write any miscues.

4. After we finish the letterbox lesson, I will ask the students to read the same words of the chart paper. I will say "first I will show you how to read the first word." I will stretch out the phonemes, /h/ /a/ /r/ /d/ when I read the word and then blend them together.

5. Next, I will introduce the book with a book talk. "This book is about a cat named Tab that loves to nap in strange places. What do you think his owner will do when he finds him at a baseball game? Let’s read this story together to find out what happens." I will start the story by reading the first page of the book A Cat Nap. After I read the first page, I will randomly call on the students to come up to the big book to individually read a sentence.

6. After reading the story I will ask the students to take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil and will ask them to write about a favorite animal or pet.


Each student will be given a worksheet with words from the lesson to complete. One column will have the words from the chart paper (nap, cat, rat, fan, bag, and bat) and the other column will have pictures that match as well as other random pictures. I will be able to assess their understanding of the lesson by if they are able to match the words to the pictures.



Cushman, Shelia. A Cat Nap. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990. 8 pgs.

Powell, Megan:

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