Can a Snake Bake a Cake?

Beginning Reading Lesson


Jenni Prescott


Rationale: In order for children to become expert readers, they not only need to know the letter-sound correspondences, but they must also understand that sometimes in our tricky language letter correspondences appear differently in different words.  This lesson will review a = /a/ and will introduce a_e = /A/. Students will be taught to hear the phoneme /A/ through the use of a tongue twister and will learn to recognize a_e= /A/ through a group activity on the white board, individual spelling, as well as reading pseudowords and reading a decodable text focusing on a_e=/A/.



        white board

        dry erase markers

        Chant paper - "Jake the Snake wants to bake a cake."

        Cushman, Shelia. Jane and Babe. Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990

        Primary paper for each child

        pencil for each child

        list of pseudo words: hane, sape, pake, jate, mabe, zape, vake, tave.

        combination a_e written on board

        list of review words, such as, bad, sad, happy, pat, glad.




"Who can raise their hand and tell me what letter I am holding up right now?  You are right, this is the letter a.  As we have learned recently, when we see the letter a in a word we don't say /A/, instead we say /a/. Who can tell me a word we have learned with the /a/ sound? Very good, /sad/ is one word we have learned.  Today we are going to learn how to read words that have the sound /A/ in them.  Sometimes we use a_e to say /A/. (Have written on white board a_e = /A/ big enough for whole class to see.) Although it is can be easy to hear, it can be a little more difficult to find in written words. That's why we need to practice!"

"Let's remember when we see a alone in a word we say /a/-/a/-/a-/ like a crying baby.  I'm going to say some words and I want you to do your motions of a crying baby when you hear the /a/ sound.  Bad. Good. Sad. Happy. Pat. Mop. Glad. Smile.  Good job, now we can move on to our new combination       "Can everyone say /A/ with me three times? Ready? /A/, /A/, /A/.  Great job! I want each of you to put your hands over your head and make your fingertips touch, this looks like the capital letter A. Look at me, can you do it? (Put hands over head to make arms look like an A.) I want you to listen to this word and when you hear the /A/ sound I want you to do your arm motion. Get reading and listen for it in this word. Race. Let me stretch it out and see if you can hear it better, R-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-c-e. Good job."     "Let's try a tongue twister together and see if we can listen for the sound /A/. When you hear them put your arms in our A shape. (demonstrate again). First I will say it and you just listen." (Point to chant while saying each word.)

"Jake the snake wants to bake a cake! Now listen again while I stretch out the words, make your A if you hear /A/. J-a-a-a-a-ke the s-n-a-a-a-a-k-e wants to b-a-a-a-a-k-e a c-a-a-a-a-k-e.Good. Let's all say it together one time through in a normal voice. "Jake the snake wants to bake a cake". Great. Now let's all stretch it out and place our arms over our hear when we hear our /A/, ready. J-a-a-a-a-ke the s-n-a-a-a-k-e wants to b-a-a-a-a-k-e a c-a-a-a-a-k-e."

At the white board teacher will show different a_e combinations, asking for the students help.  "On the board I have _a_e and I want to spell the word BAKE. Who can help me finish this word.  Let's sound it out. B-B-B. Where will this letter go? (have a student write B on the first blank.) Why do you think we place the B here? That's right, it's because that is the first sound were hear when we say BAKE.  Now I need the K-K-K.  Where will this letter go? (have students write K on the next blank.) Let's read this word together. B-A-K-E.  Remember because we have our a_e combination the vowel A says /A/." Do this with multiple words until students seemed to have caught on. After doing different words, write words that you have practiced one at a time and have children re-read the words to get extra reading practice in.   

Teacher sends students back to their seats and passes out primary paper and pencils. The teacher will now explain how to make the combination a_e on paper, and will model every step of the way on the white board.  "We can make the /A/ sound using the combination a_e, like we just saw and heard in our tongue twister.  Look at the words in our tongue twister, Jake, snake,bake, and cake all say /A/ and have an a_e combination.  Let's first practice writing our a's and e's.  

 "To make an a we will start at the fence, circle around down to the sidewalk, and back up to the fence. Then we will make a straight line from the fence down to the side walk." Teacher walks around to see children's work.

 "Now lets make our e. We will start between the fence and the sidewalk and make a straight horizontal line. Then we curve upward toward the fence, touch the fence, and then back down to the sidewalk.  We will finish our e by coming back up and almost touching our line again.  I'm going to walk around and look at your letters, everyone please write three of each."

"Now that everyone has their a and e down, lets practice writing the words we saw in the rhyme. (Have words written on board big enough for all to see)

Students will now have time to write 5 a_e on their own. They can use the words that we practiced on the board, learned in the tongue twister, or they can invent a word. As long as they have a_e  and when they read it they pronounce it as /A/ it is okay. 

Students will now read Jane and Babe by Sheila Cushman, featuring a_e, with a partner.  They will take turns each reading a page.  "This story is about a lion Babe and his zoo keeper Jane.  Jane loves Babe and spends much of her day taking care of Babe.  In order to find out what else she does with Babe you must read on and see what happens!  Be on the look out for a_e combinations and remember that is says /A/ not /a/.


Assessment: I will use words I have made up to assess the students.  Individually I will have each child come up and read the 8 words I have made up. I will explain to the child that I did make these words up and that they won't make sense, but they can still be read. "Try your best." (hane, sape, pake, jate, mabe, zape, vake, tave.)




        Cushman, Sheila. Jane and Babe. Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990

        Taylor, Hannah: Oh, Oh, Oh!.


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