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Beginning Reading Design

Ay Man

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 (cool guy saying ay man), 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 cool guy emoji; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard letter boxes for modeling and individual letter boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: a, e, c, b, k, r, t, p, s ; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: ace, bake, rate, scan, stake, ; decodable text: Jane and the Babe, and assessment worksheet.


1. Say: In order to become great 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 tap and 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 cool guy, or the cool emoji with the sunglasses saying “ay man”

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 mouth opens just a little and you can feel the sound in the back of your throat. [Repeat the sound /A/ three times and have the class do it with you three more times.] I’ll show you first: shade. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth open and the sound come from the back of my throat. There is a long A in shade. Now I’m going to see if it’s in pal. Hmm, I didn’t hear a say its name and I didn’t feel /A/ in the back of my throat. Now you try. If you hear /A/ say, “Ay man.” If you don’t hear /A/ say, “no dude.” Is it in snake, candy, play, stand, case, ball, stain? [Have students wave hands and say “ay man” when they hear 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 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 snake? “If I see a snake in the forest, I will run away.” To spell snake in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /s//n//A//k/e. I need 4 boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /k/ so I’m going to put an o in the 3rd 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//n//A//k/ e. I think I heard /n/ so I’ll put a t right after the s. I have one empty box now. [Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /s//n//A//k/e.] The missing one is /k/ = k.

4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for ace. Ace is a kind of suit in a card game, “If you have an Ace, then you win the card game.” 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: bake, I want to bake a cake for my birthday, bake. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: b – a – k – e and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: rate; I need to rate my toys from best to worst. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front 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: scan ; the woman at the grocery store has to scan all of the items before I pay. 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 board.] Now let’s try 4 phonemes: stake; the stake has to go into the ground to hold down the tent, stake. One more then we’re done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: scrape; If I scrape my knee, I will need a band-aid. Remember to stretch it out to get this tough 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 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 critter to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /s//c/ = /sc/ + /r/ = /scr/. Now I’m going to blend that with /A/ = /scrA/. Now all I need is the end, /p/ = /scrAp/. 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 Jane and the Babe. This is a story about a lion named babe and his pal Jane, in the story Jane goes into Babe’s cage to try to wake him from a nap, she tries all sorts of things to wake him, what do you think will be the best way to wake up Babe? Get with a partner next to you and write down a few ways you think Jane might wake up Babe [go around room and monitor progress] These are all some really interesting ways Jane might wake up Babe, let’s read the story and find out how Jane wakes up Babe.

7. Say: That was a fun story. How did Jane wake up Babe? Right, she yelled his name really loud “BABE!”. What else did Jane do to try to wake up Babe that did not work? Right, she poked him with a cane. 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. I have two columns one that says short a /a/ and one that says long a /A/, there are several cards with words on them that have either the short a sound or the long a sound, I want you to say the word on the card and listen to whether or not the a says its name, and then put the card in the right column. [go around and assess progress, take pictures of student work to assess their comprehension of a_e]


Jane and Babe- decodable book 2 –long a – Phonics Readers