Aaaaaaaaaaaa! There's a spider!

Brittany Williams


Rationale:  To learn how to spell and read written words.  Children must understand that the letters of the alphabet stand for phonemes in order to read the words.  They must also understand that these phonemes are the way to map out the spoken words.  This lesson will identify the a= /a/ phoneme which is a short vowel.  In this lesson the students will learn how to identify the a= /a/ in spoken words through different means of symbolism.  By the end of this lesson the students should be able to identify a= /a/ in words. 



1. "A Cat Nap"

2. Tongue Twister Chart "Ashley asked Abbey to walk the animals already".

3. Primary Paper

4. Fans with a (shaped like apples)

5. Pencils

6. Dry Earase Board

7. Picture Page with pictures of different things in which the students will color the pictures with the /a/ sound in the word. 

8. Picture of a Spider



  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that reading and writing are everywhere and we need to learn how to read and write to live our everyday lives.  Explaining the students that our language is a "secret code" that is tricky because it is difficult to tell what letters represent the mouth moves that we make when we actually say the words.
  2. Ask the students "Have you ever seen a spider and yelled /a/?"  That is the mouth move we are looking for today.  Let's pretend that we have seen a spider and yell /a/.  Model for the students by pointing to the spider as we say /a/.  When we see a spider on the ground we point and yell /a/.  Let's look for a spider now. 
  3. Now let's try a tongue twister "Ashley asked Abbey to walk the animals already".  Great now let's try it again but this time stretch out the /a/ in the words.  "AAAAshley aaaasked AAAAbbey to waaaalk the aaaanimals aaaalready".  Great now let's do it one more time but this time break off the /a/.  "/a/shley /a/sked /a/bbey to w/a/lk the /a/nimals /a/lready".
  4. Next have the students take out primary paper and pencil.  The letter a is used to write /a/.  Now let's practice writing!  This time we need to start just below the fence.  Next go up and touch the fence and then down to the sidewalk, around and straight back down.  You practice your a.  After I put a spider on your paper write ten more a's. 
  5.  Tell the students that when they see the letter a all by itself in a word that is their signal to see a spider and yell /a/.  Model by asking the students if they hear /a/ in the word lap or sit?  Tell the students you hear /a/ in laaaaap.  Ask the students which word they hear /a/ in.  Dog or Cat?  Nap or Sleep?  Bag or Purse?  Good or Bad?  Cab or Taxi?  Pass out the fans with the a on them.  Tell the students to hold up their sign when they hear the /a/ sound.  "Ashley asked Abbey to walk the animals already".  Then asked then a few more either or questions such as:  Black or White?  Front or Back?  Apple or Kiwi? 
  6. Begin by doing a brief book talk about "A Cat Nap".  Tab is a cat.  He naps in a bag.  Sam is a man.  He has a bag.  You have to read the rest of the book to find out what happens.  Then you would read the book "A Cat Nap".  After the book is over instruct the students that you will reread the book but this time when they hear /a/ they must hold up their fans.  Every time the students finds a word with /a/ in it record it on the board.  Next have the students write a short message using one of the words recorded on the chart. 
  7. As a final assessment give the students each a paper with different pictures on them and they must color in the pictures that have the /a/ in them. 




Elizabeth Zorn, Aaaaa Choo!!!

Bails, Susan. A Cat Nap. Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990. 11 pages.

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