Abe Ate Acorns with Ace

Beginning Literacy Design

Mallie Frasier


Students must learn to decode in order for them to become successful readers. The skills children need to decode include recognizing and understanding grapheme to phoneme correspondences. The goal of this lesson is to teach children the grapheme A and its corresponding phoneme a_e= /A/. They will do this by saying the phoneme in a tongue twister, participating in activities including listening to the phoneme a_e=/A/, reading and spelling words with a_e=/A/ in a letter box lesson, and reading a decodable book, Jane and Babe.

-Cut out letters for every student (b, l a, m, e, t, p, r, g, c, m, k), and letter boxes, and have the words(make, ape, age, bat, place, grape, plan, blame, splash) written on pieces of paper to be read
- The book Jane and Babe, and document camera
-worksheet for each student

1. "Today we are going to learn about long A. When the letter A is in a word followed by a consonant then E at the end, it says /A/.  Let's all say it together, 'AAAAAAA' now this time let's say /A/ and wave at each other. 'AAAAAA' (while waving)."

2. "Does everyone remember learning about short A? Do you remember what sound short a makes? It makes the /a/ sound, as in at. Let's see if you can recognize some words with the /a/ sound. Do you hear /a/ in cat or dog? Pan or Pot? Wag or walk? Sam or Jim? Slam or shut?  Good Job! I'm so glad you all remember short A!"

3. "Now that I know you all know short A, we are going to do a tongue twister for our new vowel sound, long A."(Write tongue twister on board so the children can read along as they say it.) The teacher says it once to the students. "Abe Ate Acorns with Ace" Once this is done, she asks the students to say it aloud at normal speed. "Abe Ate Acorns with Ace." Once they say it at normal speed, make the /A/ sounds longer in each word. "aaaabe aaaate aaaacorns with aaaace"

4. "Now we are going to practice reading and writing a few words with long A." Pass out bags with cut out letters and letterboxes. Model how to spell and read a word. "Now I am going to show you how to spell a word using our boxes. I am going to spell Make. It has three sounds, so I will need three boxes; /m/ /a/ /k/. I put the first sound, /m/, in the first box. The next sound I hear is /a/, so I will put it in the next box. The next sound I hear is /k/, so it will go in the third box. I just put my e on the outside of the boxes because I know it takes an e at the end to make the letter a say /A/.

5. "Now take out your letters and letterboxes. I am going to read some words slowly then give you a sentence using that word and I want you to spell it using the letters and letterboxes like I showed you. (2) Ape - I saw an ape at the zoo - now, you spell it out in the boxes like I showed you. Good! The e is at the end of the word to make the /A/ sound. (2) Age- what is your age? - now you spell it, Good! /a/ /g/ and the e goes on the end to make the a say /A/. Place - I like to go to this place -  now you spell it, Great!" continue with, (3) Bat (4) Grape, (4) Plan (4) Plate (4) Blame and (5) Splash. As you are calling out the words, walk around the room observing the children and helping students who need it.

6. Once they are finished spelling the words, it is time to read them. Have each letterbox word written on a piece of paper to hold up. Ask the children to read each word they have just spelled out loud as a group.

7. "Since you all have done so well learning that A can sometimes say /A/, we are now going to read a book called Jane and Babe. In this book, Jane has a friend named Babe. Babe is not like most of Jane's friends because he is a lion. Jane will often go into Babes cage to play with him. One day, Jane cannot wake Babe up. You'll have to read to find out if she finally wakes him up. I hope he isn't angry!" Show the book on the document camera and have the class read together.

Once the children have finished reading, they may go back to their seats and begin the assessment worksheet. "Now we are going to do one final activity for this lesson. I am going to pass out a worksheet that I want you to do your best on. On the worksheet are several pictures. Under each picture, I want you to write the word that describes what the picture is, use the word bank on the bottom of the page. Then, there will be a sentence, and I want you to draw a picture of what that sentence says." Do the first picture on the worksheet as an example for them.


Cushman, Sheila, & Rona Kornblum. Jane and Babe. 1990. Educational Insights.

Kent, Alea. Plans or Planes?: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/journeys/kentbr.htm

 Murray, B.A. The Letterbox Lesson. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/letbox.html

Assessment Worksheet:


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