Ay There!


Beginning Reading Lesson

Kristen Goodson

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. They will learn a meaningful representation (Ay! Like Fonzie),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: picture of Fonzie with thumbs up,Cover-up critter, "Jane and Babe," Letterboxes and letters for each students [g,a,t,e,r,m,s,b,c,h,s], word cards gate, pat, stare, brace, chase for reading, assessment worksheet


1. You will first 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, like rap, and today we are going to learn about the long A and the silent e at the end of a word that is used to make A say its name, /A/.

2. "Before we learn how to spell /A/ we are going to listen for it in some words that I say. When I say /A/ I feel my lower jaw drop while my tongue stays flat at the bottom of my mouth. Watch my mouth as I say a word with /A/ in it. G-AAAA-te. Did you see how my jaw dropped and tongue stayed flat? That means that there was a long A in the word. Now you say it… g-aaaa-te…If you hear the long A sound in these words give a thumbs up like Fonzie does. If you do not hear the long A sound put your thumbs down. Do you hear /A/ in: take,tan,shake,snow, plane, rain, came?"

3. "Now that we know what /A/ sounds like we can look at the spelling of it. 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 for example.) 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 gate? "There is a gate to get into the pool area." Gate means entry way in this sentence. To spell gate in letterboxes, first I need to count how many phonemes are in the word, so I stretch it out and count: /g//a/t/. I need 3 boxes. I hear the /A/ just before the /t/ so I'm going to put the a in the 2nd box and the silent e signal outside the last box. Gate starts with a grrr so put a g in the first box. After the A sound I hear a tttt so put a t in the 3rd box--make sure to point to the letters as you are making them so the children can see."

4. "Now I am going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. The words will start out easy with just 3 boxes for the word 'tame.' Tame means calm and friendly like "The lion at the zoo was very tame." What letter goes in the first box? That's right! T! In the next box we need to remember that there is a silent e at the end of the sentence which makes the vowel be long. Who can tell me what goes in the 2nd box? Long A! Good job! I hear a mmmm at the end of tame, who can tell me what letter that is? Remember the silent e goes after the last box. You'll need four letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that does 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: stare, I like to stare at the television when I watch it; stare. {Allow student to spell word.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board (or on the paper): s-t-a-r-e and see if you've spelled it the same way. Let students spell brace, and chase as well and scaffold them along the way."

5. "Now I am going to let you read the words that you just spelled on your letterbox. First, I am going to show you how to read a tough word. [Display index card with stare and model the reading word.]  I see there is a silent e at the end of the word which reminds me that this vowel will be saying its name. I'm going to use a cover-up to get the first part. [uncover and belnd sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] sound out slowly /s/t/=/st/. Now I'm going to blend with the /A/ = /stA/. Now all I need is the end, /r/ = /stAr/. Stare; that's it. Now it's your turn, let's do it together. "[Have students read word in unison. Afterwards, let individuals read one word on the list.]

6. "You've done a great job with reading words with our new spelling for /A/= a_e. Now we are going to read a book called Jane and Babe. Babe is a lion that lives in a cage at the zoo. His trainer comes in to wake him but can't seem to get him to wake up. Do you think they will ever get him awake so that the trainer can play with him and take care of him? We are going to have to keep reading to find out! [if in a group of 6 have the students pair up to read together.] After you and your partner have read sit quietly as everyone else finishes and we will talk about what happened in the story!

7. "That was a fun story. Did the trainer ever wake Babe up to play? Why do you think he didn't want to wake up? Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to look in the box of word choices, and decide which a_e word fits best to make sense of this very short story. First try reading all the words in the box, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense." [Collect worksheet to evaluate individual progress.]


Assessment: http://stickyball.net/phonics.html?id=347

Murray, Bruce.  Teaching Letter Recognition. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/letters.html

Patterson, Whitney. Easy E Street. Lessons for teaching decoding with long vowels and other vowels

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