Ayyy Matey

Jessica Heron


Cloud Callout: Ay Matey


Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence a_e = /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_e=/A/. They will learn a meaningful representation (pirate saying Ayy matey!), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence a_e = /A/.


Materials: Graphic image of a pirate with a speech bubble that says "Ayy Matey"; cover-up critter; document camera; projector; letterboxes for modeling and individual letterboxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and letters for teacher: s,c,r,a,p,e,b,t,k,s,n; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: bake, case, cake, bat, snake; decodable text: The Race for Cake, and assessment worksheet.



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with a that says /a/, like tap, and today we are going to learn about long A and the silent e signal that is used to make a say its name, /A/. When I say /A/ I think of a funny pirate saying "Ayy Matey!" [show graphic image].


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/. Let's see if we can find our pirate A in game. *Stretch out the word* g-g-A-A-A-m-m; hmmm I think I herd it. Lets try again. G-g-/A/-/A/-m-m (make pirate hook with hand) I herd /A/ in game. Now lets see if you can do it! If you hear our friend pirate A I want you to make your pirate hook! Lake? Sam? Time? Rake? Same? [Have children make the pirate hand motion when they hear the long A sound.] Great job!


3. Say: Now let's look at the spelling of /A/ that we'll learn today. One way to spell /A/ is with the letter a and a signal e at the end of the word to tell me to say A's name. [Write a_e on the board.] This blank line here means there is a consonant after a, and at the end of the word there is a little silent e signal. What if I want to spell the word scrape? "I am afraid I will scrape my knee!" Scrape means cut in this sentence. To spell scrape in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /s//k//r//A//p/. I need 5 boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /p/, so I'm going to put an a in the 4th box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /s/, that's easy; I need an s. I have three empty boxes now. Sound out the beginning of the word. S-s-c-r-a-p-e, I think I herd a c, so put a c in the second box. Then I think I herd an r. Let's see.. s-s-c-r-r-a-p-e, yes it was an r. So, I will put an r in the third box. [Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /s//k//r//A//p/.] The missing one is /p/ = p.

4. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with three boxes for bake. Bake is like cooking, "Mom is going to bake cookies for a treat!" What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? What about silent e, did you remember to put it outside the boxes? 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/ and don't forget to put the signal silent e at the end, outside the boxes. Here's the word: case, I like to carry my laptop in a case; case. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: c – a – s – e and see if you've spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: cake; I like to smell cake cooking; cake. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the document camera 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: bat; be careful if you see a bat! Did you need a silent e? Why not? Right, because we don't hear a say its name. We spell it with our short vowel a. [volunteer spells it on the document camera.] Now let's try 4 phonemes: snake; there was a snake in the pool today.


5. 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 scrape on the top and model reading the word.] First I see there's a silent e on the end; that's my signal that the vowel will say its name. There's the vowel a. It must say /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.] /s//k/ = /sk/ + /r/ = /skr/. Now I'm going to blend that with /A/ = /skrA/. Now all I need is the end, /p/ = /skrAp/. Scrape; 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.]


6. Say: You've done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /A/: a_e. Now we are going to read a book called The Race for Cake. The perfect snack after a tiring swim, cake.  Mmm . . . can you smell it?  Uh, oh.  Lad smells it, too. Let's pair up and take turns reading The Race for Cake and see what is going to happen! [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 The Race for Cake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the story.]


7. Say: That was a fun story. Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how you can solve this problem. On this worksheet, we have some words inside a random picture. Your job is to look at the words and color the boxes according to the directions. (short a words color grey, and long a words color blue). Then using the picture you colored, answer the sentence at the bottom of the page. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



Murray, G. (2004) The Race for Cake. Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html


Assessment worksheet: http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/html/phonics_worksheet_v1-36.html

Return to transformations index