Allie the Alligator

Emergent Literacy

Rachel Noto



Rationale: For students to be able to recognize the phonemes in spoken words. This lesson will help students recognize one specific phoneme: /a/. Students will learn the sound letter a makes by using tongue twisters and visual motions to represent the sound. Then students will connect the letter to its sound by letter writing. After the lesson is over, students should be able to recognize and identify /a/ in spoken words by separating its sound from the rest of the word. Students will also be able to recognize the letter when they see it and know the sound it makes.



- Chart with tongue twister Allie the Alligator Eats Apples After Dark

- white board or chalk board

- primary paper

- pencils

- markers

- plain white copy paper

- children's book by Emily Mills: Jack the Cat


1. "Today we are going to learn about the sound that letter a makes. It makes the /a/ sound, like when a baby cries.  Let's all say /a/ together. aaa. Great boys and girls!  Now we are going to listen for the /a/ sound and we are going to practice writing the letter a, which makes the /a/ sound."

2.  "Let's try this tongue twister. I'll say it first and then it will be your turn. Allie the Alligator eats apples after dark.  Now let's all say it together. Let's say it again but this time, make sure you really say the /a/ sounds. AAAllie the AAAligator eats aaapples aaafter dark.  Very good! Do we all hear the /a/ sound?

3. "I am going to pass out paper. We are going to practice writing the letter that makes the /a/ sound.  That letter is a.  To make a lower case a we are going to start below the fence by making a round circle. Than attach a small stick to the side. I will make one on the board (draw a on board) Now you make a row of a's just like that."

 4. "Good job! Put your pencils down and we are going to listen to some words that I say. Follow my directions. I am going to say 2 words. Tell me which word you can hear the /a/ sound the letter a makes. Here we go. Do you hear /a/ in mad or pit? Cat or red? Tick or slap? Very good!"

5."Its time to read a fun book! We are going to read the book Jack the Cat. Jack is a black cat who sits in a pin all day. Jack decides to find a way out of the pin through the flap. When he gets out he finds pals to help. But none of them seem to need his help. We need to read the rest of the book to see if Jack finds a pal he can help."

6. "I am passing out paper for you to draw on. I want everyone, first, to think of something that has the /a/ sound in it. Ex: apple, alligator, cat, rat."


Assessment: Teacher can assess group progress by walking around and observing students as they write the letter a across their lined paper. For individual assessment, teacher can look at the drawing of objects they chose to see if the objects have the /a/ sound.  



- Marilyn J. Adams, Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print, Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading, 1990, pages 51-72.

- Jack the Cat by Emily Mills.

Return to Sightings index