Hey, Hey!


A Beginning Reading Lesson

Ashley Baas

Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence a_e = /A/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling a_e. They will learn meaningful representation (Man waving hey), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence a_e = /A/.

Materials: Graphic image of a person waving; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard; Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin letterboxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: a, c, e, m, k, l, n, t, p, s, h, r; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: ace, make, lane, tap, slates, paste, sharp, plane, crane; decodable text Jane and Babe  and assessment worksheet.

1. Say: in order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowels with a, like map, and today we are going to learn about long A and the silent e signal that is used to make A say its name, /A/. When I say /A/ I think of an excited little kid waving “Hey, Hey!” [Show graphic image]. Now let’s look at the spelling of /A/ that we will learn today. One way to spell /A/ is with the letter a and a signal e at the end of the word to tell me to say A’s name. [Write a_e on the board.] This blank line here means there is a consonant after a, and at the end of the word there is a little silent e signal.

2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /A/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /A/ in words, I hear a say its name /A/ and my mouth comes open like I am screaming. [Make vocal gesture for /A/.] I will show you first: name. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth come wide [make a circle motion around open mouth]. There is a long A in name. Now I’m going to see if it’s in past. Hmm, I did not hear a say its name and my mouth wasn’t open wide enough. Now you try. If you hear /A/ say, “Hey, Hey!” If you don’t hear /A/ say, “That’s not it.” Is it in pain, snow, past, sane, part, scrape? Have children make a circle motion around their wide mouth when they feel /A/ say its name.]

3. What if I want to spell the word plane? “I saw a plane flying high in the sky.” To spell plane in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: p/l/A/n/. I need four boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /n/ so I am going to put an a in the 4th box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /p/, that’s easy; I need a p. Now it gets a little tricky so I’m going to say it slowly, p/l/A/n. I think I hard l so I’ll put that right after p. I also hear n at the very end. The last box is where it will go. Now I will show you how I read a tough word. [Display poster with slates on the top and model reading the word.] I am going to start with the a_e; that part says /A/. Now I’m going to put the beginning letters with it: s-l-a_e, /slA/. Now I’ll put that chunk together with the last sound, /slA-t/. Oh, slate, like “ I have a clean slate.”

4. Say: Now I’m going to have to spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for ace. You can say, “ I know I can ace that test.” What about silent e, did you remember to put it outside the boxes? I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You will need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /A/ and don’t forget to put the signal silent e at the end, outside of the boxes. Here’s the word: make, I know how to make a paper airplane; make. [Allow children to spell remaining words, giving sentences for each word: lane, crane, slates, paste, plan.]

5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [Show the words : ace, make, lane, stale, slates, paste, plane, the extra words tap and sharp, and the pseudoword crane. Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read on word on the list until everyone has had a turn.

6. Say: You’ve done a great job reading words with our new spelling for /A/: a_e. Now we are going to read a book called Jane and Babe. This book is about a big lion named Babe and her friend Jane. Babe lives in the zoo where Jane works. One day she has to go in his cage to wake him up. What will Babe do when she wakes him up? Let’s pair up and read to find out what Babe does when Jane tries to wake him up. [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Jane and Babe chorally, stopping between page turns to discuss the story.]


7. Say: Before we finish up our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to look in the box of word choices and decide which a_e words fits best to make sense of this very short story. First try reading all the words in the box, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



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


Noie Yancey, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/yanceybr.htm


Assessment worksheet:


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