Home‎ > ‎

Beginning Reading: Aaaaa Cries The Baby

Aaaaa Cries The Baby

Hope Roberts

Beginning Reading Design

Rationale: Understanding vowel correspondence is crucial for beginning readers to become successful readers.  The goal of this lesson is to teach students the correspondence a=/a/. Students will learn how to recognize /a/ in spoken and written word, as well as practice spelling words with /a/ using Elkonin Boxes.



·         White board and dry erase markers

·         Elkonin boxes for each student

·         Letter tiles: a, c, t, d, m, h

·         A copy of “Ants in a Can” for each student

·         Attached worksheet




1. “Today we are going to learn about the sound /a/, and the letter that makes that sound. Has anyone ever heard a baby cry? When a baby cries it makes the sound (pretend to cry), Aaaaaaaa Aaaaaaa. Did you hear /a/ when I cried like a baby? Lets all try now.” Lead all students in making the /a/ sound. “When you were crying like a baby, and making the /a/ sounds, did you notice how your mouth was open, and your tongue touched the bottom of your teeth?  That is how we say /a/.”


2. Write the tongue tickler “Andy and Allie asked if Anne’s active animals were angry”. Say, “Now we are going to practice saying /a/ by reciting a silly tongue tickler.” First read the tongue tickler to students, then have them say it with you; finally have them say it on their own. Say, “That was great! Did you hear /a/ in any of those words? Lets try it one more time, this time I want you to stretch the /a/ sound every time we say it. Aaaaandy aaaaand Aaaallie……”


3. To determine if students can hear /a/ in words, say the following words, and ask them to raise their hand if they know which word they hear /a/ in. Call on students with their hands raised and ask them to select the correct word. Say, “ Do you hear /a/ in cat or dog? Hat or shirt? Clap or yell? Snack or lunch? Make sure each student understands how to detect /a/ in spoken words.


4. Pass out letterboxes and tiles to each student, each student should have their own letterbox, and set of tiles. Model your first word for students by saying, “ As a class we are going to spell the word cat. For the word cat we will use three letterboxes to go along with the three mouth moves we will make. I am going to say the word very slowly, so I can decide where to put my letters. C-a-a-a-t. Every one try it with me C-a-a-a-t. The first sound we hear is /c/, so we know our word begins with a C, lets put C in or first box. Next we hear /a/, like a crying baby, so we know the next letter is a, lets but a in our second box. Finally we hear /t/ so we know our last letter it t, so we put t in our last box. Have students try words on their own using the following words: two phoneme words- add, at. Three phoneme words: mat, bad, had. Walk around the room and make sure students are doing the exercise properly, and help struggling students. Allow students around fifteen minutes to complete the activity.


5. Pass out the book “Ants in a Can” to every student. Say, “Now we are going to read the book ‘Ants in a Can’. In this story a girl named Anne wants to get ants from her ant farm, but they will not stop biting her! How will she get her ants out of the Ant Farm?” Have students read the book, and raise their hand any time they hear /a/.


Assesment: Students will complete the worksheet from the following link: http://www.funfonix.com/book1/ffonix_book1_2.gif





Boshart, Liz. ‘Adam the Apple, http://www.auburn.edu/~elb0009/boshartbr.htm


Murray, Gerry. “Ants in a Can” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html


Worksheet: http://www.funfonix.com/worksheets/book1_page27.php


Return to Partnerships index