Kate Made Lemonade

Kate Made Lemonade

A Beginning Reading Lesson

Hailey Jones



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 (Kate Made Lemonade), 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 “Kate Made Lemonade”; cover-up critter; letterboxes; letterbox letters: a, t, e, c, k, m, d, p, l, s, n; list of spelling words on paper to read: ate, cake, made, plate, skate, snake; decodable text: Race for Cake; 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, like cat, 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 girl named Kate who made Lemonade [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/ and my lips make a big and wide shape like this [Make vocal gesture for /A/]. I’ll show you first: cake. I heard a say its name and I felt my lips make a big and wide shape [point to the outside of your lips]. There is a long A in cake. Now I’m going to see if it’s in bird. Hmm, I didn’t hear a say is name and my lips didn’t make that big and wide shape. Now you try. If you hear /A/ say, “Kate Made Lemonade.” If you don’t hear /A/ say, “That’s not it.” Is it in rake, sand, bake, date, bed, fate? [Have children make a circle motion around their big and wide lips when they feel /A/ say its name].

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 paper.] 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 skate? “I found an extra skate by the ice rink.” Skate describes shoes people wear when going ice-skating in this sentence. To spell skate in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /s//k//A//t/. I need 4 boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /t/ so I’m going to put an a in the 3th box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /s/, that’s easy; I need an s. Now it gets a little tricky so I’m going to say it slowly, /s//k//A//t/. I think I heard /k/ so I’ll put a k right after the s. I have one empty box now after the a. [Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /s//k//A/t/. The missing one is /t/ = t.









4.   Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for ate. For example, “I ate all of the ice cream at the birthday party.” 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: made, “I made a craft in school today.”  [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the piece of paper: m – a – d – e and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another with four boxes: plate; “I put my dinner on a big plate.” [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front white board 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: glad; “My dog was glad to see me when I got home.” 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 front white board.] Now let’s try: snake; “My brother is afraid of the snake.” Remember to stretch the word out to get this word.

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 word. [Display poster with snake 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 critter to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /s//n/ = /sn/. Now I’m going to blend that with /A/ = /snA/. Now all I need is the end, /k/ = /snAk/. Snake; 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 Race for Cake. This is a story about Ben and Jess swimming in a lake, and they smell their mom making a cake. They start racing to the gate and Ben falls, and Jess runs to get to the gate to get the cake. Their dog, Lad, comes racing up the hill. I wonder if Ben will ever get the cake? Let’s pair up and take turns reading Race for Cake to find out if Ben gets to eat some of the cake. [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 Race for Cake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]

7.    Say: That was a fun story. Did Ben get to eat the cake? Right, his dog, Lad, got the cake! Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/ = a_e, I want to see how you can solve some reading problems. On this worksheet, we have some blanks under each picture that need to have letters in them. Your job is to look at the pictures above the words and figure out what letters go in the blanks to make the word. Remember, we are practicing a_e= /A/. On the second half of the worksheet, you need to fill in the blanks to make a complete word. Just try your best and always remember the correspondence we have been working on today. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



Murray, G. (2004) Race for Cake. Reading Genie: http://www.galacticphonics.com/longvowels/a-e/resources/aepictures.pdf


Assessment worksheet: http://www.galacticphonics.com/longvowels/a-e/resources/aepictures.pdf

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