"Aaaaaahh, I'm Scared said /a/!"
Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence a = /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. They will learn a meaningful representation (a scared person saying aaaahh!), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence a = /a/.
Materials: Graphic image of a scared person; cover-up critter (popsicle stick with 2 googly eyes); individual Elkonin boxes for each student and teacher; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic letters for teacher: c, a, t, m, p, n, t, r, s, l, t, k; list of spelling words on chart paper to read: cat, map, pan, trap, slap, stack; chart with tongue twister: "Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry", decodable text: A Cat Nap, primary paper and pencils and assessment worksheet.
1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. Each letter has its very own mouth movement and sound. We are going to be learning about a says /a/ today. When someone scares you, what is the first thing you say? I know I say "aaaahh!" I want everyone to show me their scared face! Those are some great scared faces! I want you to make sure your mouth is wide open and your hands are on your face! Lets all say /a/ while we make our scared faces. That was great!
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 opens big and wide. [Make vocal gesture for /a/.] My jaw and tongue are also down. I'll show you first: mat. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth open wide. There is a short a in mat. Now I'm going to see if it's in pail. I didn't hear a say its name and my mouth didn't open that wide. Now you try. If you hear /a/ say, "Aaaah! I'm scared." If you don't hear /a/ say, "You didn't scare me." Is it in pat, rain, pants, cap, nose, mouth?
3. Say: I have a tricky tongue twister we are going to say that has our sound /a/ in it. I'm going to say it first and you all listen for the /a/ sound. "Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry." Raise your hand if you heard our special sound! Great job! Now let's say it all together (point at the chart paper with it written). "Andrew and Alice asked if Annie's active animals were angry". Awesome! Lets say it one more time and really drag it out. Every time you hear the /a/ sound, make your scared face. "Aaaandrew aaaand Aaalice aaasked if Aaaannie's aaactive aaanimals were aaangry".
4. Say: Now let's look at the spelling of /a/ that we'll learn today. To make the /a/ sound, the a is written without any other vowels and is surrounded by consonants. [Write a on the board with a blank before and after it.] This blank lines here means there is a consonant before and after a. What if I want to spell the word cat? "The cat meowed until he got his food." To spell cat in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /c/ /a/ /t/. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /a/ just before the /t/ so I'm going to put an a in the 2nd box. The word starts with /c/; I need a c. I think I heard /t/ so I'll put a t right after the a.
5. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with three boxes for map. "Our teacher gave us a map to find the continents." What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? What goes in the third box? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /a/. Here's the word: pan, I help mom cook dinner in the pan; pan. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: p – a – n, and see if you've spelled it the same way. Try another with four boxes: trap; I put cheese in the mousetrap. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.] Next word. Listen to see if this word has /a/ in it before you spell it: slap; I slap down the cards when I win. [Allow children to spell words and check their work] Now let's try another word with 4 phonemes: stack; I made a big stack of blocks. One more then we're done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: draft; I wrote a draft before my final paper. Remember to stretch it out to get this tough word.
6. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you've spelled, but first I'll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with draft on the top and model reading the word.] First I see there's an a in the middle of the word; that's my signal that the vowel will say its sound /a/. I'm going to use a cover-up to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /d//r/ = /dr/ + /a/ = /dra/. Now all I need is the end, /f//t/ = /draft/. Draft; that's it. Now it's your turn, everyone together. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]
7. Say: You've done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /a/. Now we are going to read a book called A Cat Nap. This is a story of a cat named Tab. Tab is very fat and likes to nap in a bag. Sam owns Tab and likes to play baseball. Let's pair up and take turns reading A Cat Nap to find out what Sam and Tab like to do together. [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 A Cat Nap aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]
8. Say: That was a fun story. Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /a/ = a, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have lots of pictures. You need to spell the word that goes next to each picture. First connect the letters that make up the word. Then use those letters to write the word next to the picture. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]
Jackson, Hannah; Aaaaaahh! You Scared Me!:
Murray, Geri; Oh, I didn't know! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/
Assessment worksheet: http://www.funfonix.com/book1/ffonix_book1_2.gif
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