WAAA, Cry Like a Baby!
A Beginning Reading Lesson
By: Kate Patrick
Rationale: This lesson will guide students to understand the correspondence, a=/a/. Phonemic awareness is a very important part of learning to read. Phonemic awareness means that there is an understanding of the different vocal gestures and therefore is important for students to understand the correspondence between written letters and vocal gestures. Specifically, vowels can be tricky for young readers, but are especially important to learn. This lesson will incorporate explicit teaching, through a letterbox lesson and the the letter a makes the /a/ sound. Lesson will also help students to write A and a.
-picture of crying baby
-poster of “Annie saw Ally the alligator at the animal store-primary paper-white board/markers
-Ants in a Can by Geri Murray (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html)
-list of pseudo-words: dag, kam, las, taf, gam
-letterboxes/letter tiles [a, c, t, l, p, m, s, n, d, r]
1. “Today you are going to learn that the letter a makes the /a/ sound.” /a/ sounds a like a crying baby. Point to display of crying baby picture. “What does a crying baby sound like?” Waaaaaa-aaaaaa-aaaaaaa. Do you hear /a/? “Let’s all pretend to cry like a baby now!”(waaa-aaa-aaa).” When you are making this sound, I want you to notice how your mouth is most of the way open and your tongue touches the back of you bottom teeth. Now we know the sound the letter a makes.”
“Now, I want us to practice making this sound by saying a tongue twister.
[Pull out the poster with twister on there and read aloud.] "Annie saw Ally the
alligator at the animal store. This time, you say it with me: Annie saw Ally the
alligator at the animal store. Now listen to me stretch out the sound /a/, just
like Waaaaa-aaaaa-aaaaaa sounds like from a crying baby. Listen to me
stretch out this sound and watch how my mouth moves. Model saying this in front
of this class. "Aaaaaaaanie saaaaw Aaaaaally the aaaaaaligator aaaat the
aaaanimal store" Now, did you hear the /a/ sound as I stretched it out? Good!
Now, you can do the same thing. Everyone can make /a/ as you stretch this out.
Let me hear you stretch out our /a/ sound. Watch students as they say "Aaaaaaaannie saw Aaaaaaaally the
aaaaaaaligator aaaat the aaaaaanimal store. Good! Notice the shape your mouth is
making!” "I loved hearing everyone make /a/."
"I loved hearing everyone make /a/."
3. “Now, I want you to listen for the /a/ sound in some other words. Do you hear /a/ in animal or cow? Crab of fish? Dog or cat? Flat or round? Great!”
4. “Great job so far! Now, we are going to practice writing our letter a (lowercase). "To write the a we start at the fence and draw around in a circle. The bottom of this circle should touch the sidewalk. On the right side of the circle, put a line from the sidewalk to right above the fence.” [demonstrate this on the board].As you write it on the board tell students to pay attention to the steps you take to make the letter a. "Class, see how I start at the fence(place marker at the "fence" line of the primary paper) and draw a circle (draw the circle on the example). "Next, we make a straight line on the right side of the circle, (make a line on the example paper). "I need everyone to watch and match what I am doing as you try to write the letter a on your own paper." “It’s your turn to try on you own. Everyone use their pencil and paper to write 5 lowercase a letters. [Here, you can walk around to assist and assess students]. (formative assessment) "Good job everyone!”
5. “At this time, I would like everyone to take out their letterboxes. Remember we only put one sound in each box. Watch me spell the word trap. [model]. “It’s your turn now and I want you to have three boxes showing and spell the word cat.” [Here you can call on students to share their spellings.] “Next word is lap, great! Next, make your letterbox have four and spell the word camp. Good! And now try last. Now, use five boxes to spell stand. Great job! Since you spelled so well, I am going to have you read some words off my word cards. I’ll show you how first, hold up scram card and read: scram. Sss-cc-rrr-aaaaa-aamm.” [Hold cards up for trap, cat, lap, camp, last, and stand].
6. “Class, we are now going to read a story, Ants in a Can. Give a book to each student. In this book, class, Jan finds an ant that he dad tells her to keep in a can. Jan gives the ants a snack but the ants act very fast. What do you think happens to Jan and the ants?” [Have students read to themselves. After students have read, ask them what words they hear the /a/ sound in and write these words on the board].
Assessment: Use the pseudo word cards to individually let students read.
Wheeler, Mary Kathryn. “Crying like a baby, waaa!” (Beginning Reading).
Murray, B.A. & Lesnia T (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.
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