An Apple For Allie


Haylee Black

Beginning Reading Lesson


Rationale: This lesson is designed to improve spelling and help beginning readers become fluent readers. This goal for this lesson is to learn the correspondence a = /a/ in written and spoken language. The students will practice spelling and reading words using Elkonin boxes and read a new book to identify a = /a/ in words with various phonemes.



Whiteboard, Smart Board, or overhead projector

Paper and pencils

Text: A Cat Nap

Illustration for a = /a/: a baby crying

Tongue Tickler: Allie the alligator asked for an apple

Elkonin boxes (one for each student)

Letter manipulatives (for each child and a set for the teacher)

Letters: a, b, c, d, k, l, n, r, s, t

Words on 3x5 cards (or similar) to read: crack, an, back, sad, black, stand, paz, wat

Letters on card or Smart Board (in order): a, u, a, c, o, e, a, a, y, l, o, a



Assessment worksheet (attached)




1.           When learning how to read I prefer to start with the first missing correspondence and that is why we will begin learning a = /a/ today. (Write letter on the board) Have all of the students' practice opening their mouth and saying /a/. Have you ever been around a baby that cries or a toddler that whines a lot? Here is a picture that you can think about when you see a. Let's all make the sound like a baby that says /a/.


2.           Next we will practice saying the /a/ sound in a silly sentence. Listen to me as I say a tongue twister: "Allie the alligator asked for an apple". Now this time I want you to put a thumbs-up when you hear me say /a/. (Repeat tongue twister). This time let's all practice saying it together and then we will stretch it out: "Aaallie the aaaligator aaasked for aaan aaaple." "Great job! Remember to make sure you're saying /a/, you may have to change the way you are holding your mouth." This last time I want you to pretend to wipe your eyes like your crying when we say /a/. This will help the students associate a mouth movement and gesture with the sound /a/.



3.           I am going to say some words and I want you to put one finger up if you hear /a/ in the first word and put a /2/ up if you hear /a/ in the second word. I will say the words twice and then you can show me your fingers, let's get started: cap or shoe? Crumbled or flat? Front or back? Bad or good? "nice job!"


4.           Now that we know what the sound /a/ makes and how to recognize it in a sentence and in a word, let's practice writing it on our lined paper. I will show you how to write an a and then you can practice. On our lined paper we have the rooftop (top line), fence (dotted middle line), sidewalk (bottom line), and the ditch (below the bottom line). To write a lowercase a we will start under the fence. Go up and touch the fence, then around and touch the sidewalk, around and straight down. Let's all write it six times and then we will do another activity. I am going to show you cards that have different letters on them and when you see the letter a stand up and when another letter is showing sit back down. Let's begin: a, u, a, c, o, e, a, a, y, I, o, a. Great job! I love how you participated and were able to recognize the correct letter.



5.           Now that we have all recognized the letter and its sound, let's practice spelling words using our boxes and letter tiles! When we say /a/ our mouth makes a special movement. Our mouths will move differently for the letters in a word. For each movement that is a phoneme, some letters are combined and they only make one sound. An example of this is ck are two separate letters but they say /k/ and our mouth only makes one movement. I will model for you how I will spell the word stack. I have four letterboxes showing and I will put mu /s/ in the first box, /t/ in the next box, then /a/, and finally the two letters that make the /k/ which are ck. When I read this word I first notice my /a/ and then look at the letters that come before it. I will say /s//t//a/ and then will look at the last letters: ck which make the /k/. Now I will blend them all together: stack.


 Let's practice a word together: "crack". Let's say it slowly and notice the movements our mouth makes for each letter. We should be able to count 4 movements.


Now I will show you how we spell this word on our boxes.







Now we will all practice in our own boxes with these words: an, back, sad, black, stand (teacher will assist and check to make sure everyone has the right answer).


6.           "Now it's time to read our story, A Cat Nap. This book will help us identify /a/ in written words such as cat, nap, and bag. In this story Tab is a cat that likes to nap and nap. Tab will nap anywhere, even in a bag. The bag that Tab naps in gets picked up and taken somewhere. I wonder who got the bag! You will have to read to find out where Tab goes in the bag and if he is safe!" Break students into small groups to whisper read so that the teacher can walk around and observe. Bring them back together after reading to discuss the story and what they thought!


7.           To assess the children's learning of the letter "a" and its phoneme, students will complete and activity sheet with illustrations.  The students will cut out the pictures and then glue them onto the corresponding word. When students complete the activity have them turn the paper over and write 2 sentences using 2 of the words from the worksheet. The teacher will be able to grade matching correspondences and if they know how to use a words in a sentence and write it correctly. This assessment will help verify if the students have mastered the letter or if they need more practice.





Nicole Lawyer, Aaaaa…There's a Spider!


Cushman, Sheila. A Cat Nap, Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.


Caitlin Roebuck, Crying Baby "Aaaaa!"



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