AAA!! I'm Scared!


Beginning Reading Lesson Plan

By: Sarah Drawdy

Rationale: It is important for students to learn correspondences between letters and sounds so they can transition into beginning reading. Short vowels are especially hard to learn; therefore, it is important for students to have explicit instruction and practice with short vowels. This lesson will help students learn to recognize and read the correspondence a = /a/. The students will learn the correspondence a = /a/ by making a memorable connection to the correspondence in written and spoken words. They will remember the a=/a/ by the memorable hand and facial gesture, as well.


 Materials:  The Cat Nap (copy for every child), white board and marker, a tongue twister written on slips of paper for each child, a worksheet practicing words that have the say /a/, and a pencil.



1)    Introduce the lesson by telling the children that our written language is a secret code that we have to figure out in order to read. I will then explain to children that each letter has its very own mouth movement and sound! Then, I will tell them that today we are going to be learning about the letter A.

2)    Then, I will say to the children: Has anyone ever jumped out and scared you? Or have you ever seen something that scared you? Well, what do you normally say when someone scares you? That's right! You say AAAAAAA! And that's the sound the letter A makes. Every time we hear the /a/, let's put our hands on our face!

3)    I have a tricky tongue tickler we are going to say with our new sound in it. I'm going to model it first and I want you listen to all the /a/ sounds that you hear.  Then, I'm going to read it a second time and I want you to put your hands on your face when you hear our special sound! "The awesome antelope asked Annie about apples." Did everyone hear our special sound? Good! Now let's say it together and make sure you put your hands on your face when you hear the sound!  "The awesome antelope asked Annie about apples." Great! Everyone put their hands on their face at the right time! Now, I want you to read the sentence by yourself! I know you're going to do great!

4)    Say: Now, let's read the /a/ sound in a book! I have a book called The Cat Nap. This story is about a cat named Tab. Tab is a fat cat who likes to nap in a bag. Sam is the man who owns Tab. Sam plays baseball. Sam has a bat in his bag. To find out if Tab is nearby, we need to read the book!

5)    Say: I want each of you to point to the words while I read it to you. When I read the book, I want each of you to tell me what words have the /a/ sound in them. Next, you will read the book to me!


6)    Say: Now that you know the short A sound and can read a book with that sound, let's try a practice worksheet. Next to each number is a picture of something that has the short A sound in it. I just want you to finish the word by putting the letter a where you hear the sound in the word.

7)    Assessment: I will be able to assess the children by not only observing their involvement with the lesson, but also by using their worksheet activity.


A Cat Nap. Educational Insights, 1990.

Hannah Jackson, AAHHHH! You Scared Me!

Short /a/ sound worksheet.

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