Y.M.C.A. With the long A  


Beginning Reading

By: Towns Carlson 

Rationale: Students have to be able to recognize the letters and their sounds.  Students have to understand this relationship fully to be able to make correspondences between written letters and phonemes.  It is important to give beginning readers ways to connect the grapheme to the phoneme. Students will learn the correspondence a_e = /A/ in this lesson.  Students will learn to recognize /A/ in oral language by learning a fun and memorable gesture to go along with the sound, recognize =/A/ in words.  They will practice spelling the /A/ sound with letterboxes, and identify the /A/ sound in the book Jane and Babe. 


Materials: Jane and Babe. Letterboxes, and letter tiles (a, p, e, c, k, f, d, t, s, h, n, b, r, l), copy of song Y.M.C.A.



1.    To introduce this lesson I will play the chorus of the song Y.M.C.A. by Village People. I will ask the students to do the hand motions with me and sing Y-M-C-A.  When the chorus has played through once, I will stoop the music and ask the kids “What was the last letter of chorus? That’s right! It was A. Can you make an A with your arms? (I will model) Now everyone say /A/ while you make an A with your arms. Lets do it again and stretch out the /A/ sound like this  (model).

2.    The letter A sometimes makes an /A/ sound. I am going to read a tongue tickling sentence and I want you to see if you can hear the /A/ sound. “Abe the ape ate Amy’s acorn.” Now, I want you to say it with me. Now er will say it one more time and when we say  it this time, I want you to stretch out the /A/ sound. “Aaabe the aaaaape aaate Aaaaamy’s aaaaaacorn.”

3.    Ok, now I am going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word has the /A/ sound. Do you hear /A/ in brake or beak, abe or grab, man or mane?

4.    Now we are going to try and spell some words using our letterboxes and our letter tiles. Each student will be given a letterbox and the right letter tiles. I am going to spell the first word for the students and model how to spell with the letter box. I am going to spell rake using my letterbox. I will stretch out and listen to the sound of rrrrrr-AAAA-kkkkkk. I will put an r in the first box for the /r/ sound. I will put an /a/ in the second box. I hear /k/ so I will put a k in the third box. I know that sometimes at the end of words, "e" does not make a sound to make a /A/ sound so I will put an e outside of my letterbox. Now you’re going to try it.

5.    Now we are going to shift into have the students do the letterboxes.   Have the children spell the following words: (2:ape 3: cake, face, date, shade 4: snake, brake, slate)

6.    Walk around while the students are working on their letterboxes. I will make sure the students are staying on task.

7.    After the letterbox lesson is finished, I will tell the students to sit with their reading partner. They will sit elbow-to-elbow, knee to knee and read the book Babe and Jane together.

Book Talk: Jane And Babe. Book talk: Jane has a best friend and her friend is Babe the lion. She helps take care of Babe. How do you think she takes care of him? Lets read and find out.

          I will monitor students as they read.

8.    To assess students, I will call them to my desk individually to read the following psuedowords: gake, cail, labe, hame, shail, zabe, pait, wape. This will allow me to assess students ability to detect the /A/.



Lesson plan: Oh Oh my knee hurts by Noie Yancey.


YMCA Picture


Tongue Tickler


Jane and Babe. Shelia Cushman. Educational Insights 1990.


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