Excuse Me, I am about to…/a/ /a/ CHOO! Sneeze

Katy Bugg

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- Alice asked Andy if his aunt was angry.
-Primary Paper
-Picture of a person sneezing
-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 what it sounds like when they are about to sneeze. It sounds like /a/ /a/ choo! 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: “Alice asked Andy if his aunt was angry.”
- Lets all say it together: “Alice asked Andy if his aunt was angry.”
- Now lets stretch out the /a/ at the beginning of the words: “Aaaaaalice aaaaasked Aaaaandy if his aaaaaunt was aaaaangry.”.”
This time break the /a/ away from the rest of the word: “ /a/ lice asked /a/ ndy if his /a/ unt was /a/ ngry.”
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 slap. First I need to stretch it out and say it slowly and listen for the person that is about to sneeze. Ssssslllllaaaap. Sssslllllaaaaa. I can hear /a/ in the middle of slap!
6. Ask students to listen and see if they hear the person about to sneeze in… mat or rug? belt or strap? apple or pear? hand or fist? tap or hit?
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. Oh no! Pat’s car ran out of gas! Do you think he will get home to eat his jam? You will have to read the book to find out!
8. Ask the students to hold their finger under their nose like they are about to sneeze when they hear /a/ in the story.

The students’ understanding  will be assessed by their recognition of psuedowords.  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: Ashley Biggee, Aaaaa! Ashley’s Scared of /a/!

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