Beginning Reading Lesson



 A crying baby says aaaaa!

By Kelly Kerr

Rationale: This lesson will focus on a = /a/. Children need a lot of explicit and systematic phonics instruction in order to be able to read.  Beginning readers need to know that words are made up of sounds.  They also need to know which letters make each sound. Because all words contain vowels, it is best to start by teaching vowels first. Short vowels should be taught before long vowels because they are most commonly found in words with only one vowel. In this lesson students will review the short /a/ sound, and then the students will practice spelling and reading words with the /a/ sound. They will practice spelling and reading words containing /a/ in a letterbox lesson and reading a decodable book.

Materials: Class set of letterboxes

Class set of letter manipulatives

Overhead letterboxes and letter manipulatives (a, t, g, l, p, f, h, n, d, c, r)

Class set of "Nat The Cat" Garrett, Cindy. 2009

Cover up critter

Large picture of a crying baby to show the class

Flash cards with words containing /a/ and some that do not.( sack, sand, bag, hand, splash, brat, that, and clam)

1. Say: So that we can become great readers we first need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. Today we are going to be learning about the short vowel A and the sound that it makes. Every time you see an /a/ in a word, you will make the sound of a crying baby. Now I want everyone to make the sound of a crying baby, aaaaaa! When I say /a/ I think of a crying baby (show image of crying baby).

2. Say: Now we are going to listen for /a/ in some words. When I listen for /a/ in words, I hear aaaa. Now I am going to say some words and if you hear /a/ rub your eyes like a crying baby. I’ll show you first: bat (rub eyes like a crying baby). I heard the sounds aaaa. Do you hear it in flash? bag? cow? glad?

3. Using the overhead projector and letter manipulatives, ask the students to name words with that sound in them and model the way to sound out the sounds in the words to the class. "Who can give me a word that has a crying baby sound? can. I can play soccer. Can means able to in this sentence. To spell can in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /c//a//n/. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /a/ just before the /n/ so I’m going to put the letter A in the 2nd box. Practice more words using the letterboxes on the projector.

4. Say: Now I want all of you to get out your letterboxes and letter manipulatives. We are all going to practice a couple words together. Have the students leave their letters on their boards and then walk around the class to check the spelling. Start with smaller phoneme words, and then move larger phonemes words. [t] [a] [g]     [l] [a] [p]     [f] [l] [a] [g]                         [h] [a] [n] [d]       [c] [r] [a] [f] [t]

 5. Say: Now I am going to hold up a flashcard of a word at the front of the classroom. Read the word to yourself and listen for the /a/ sound. If you hear the /a/ sound use your quite voice and say /a/. If you do not hear the /a/ sound in the word that I am holding up shake your head no. Here is an example, if I hold up the word apple I would say /a/ in my quite voice.

6. Say: You have done a great job with our new vowel. Now will everyone please take the book “Nat The Cat. Nat The Cat is a story about a black cat named Nat. She drank all her milk and is now sad. Lets all ready the story to find out what she does next. Get into small groups and read the book aloud. Students can assess each other by grading each other on reading speed, expression, and knowing more words. Remember to you can use your cover up critter if you are struggling with a word.

7. For an assessment,  use the worksheet attached. First the students read the twelve words at the top of the worksheet. Next they read a list of words and circle the ones that have the short vowel a. Lastly, the write the words containing the short vowel a on the blank lines.



-Amy bright, Olly Says /o/ at the Doctors:


-"Nat The Cat" Garrett, Cindy. 2009

Beginning Reading Design