Crying like "A" Baby

Emergent Literacy Design: My baby brother cries with the letter A

Carly Woods

February 5, 2014


Partnership Link (link to other lesson designs)


Rationale: This lesson will help children learn to identify /a/, the phoneme represented by A. Students will learn to recognize /a/ in spoken language by learning representations (baby crying) and the letter symbol A, practice finding /a/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /a/ in phonetic cue reading.



·      Primary Paper and pencil

·      “Adam sat on a tacky sack to eat a waxed apple.”

·      Words on cards: at, axe, sat, lap, rat

·      Assessment worksheet identifying pictures



            1. We have to learn what letters stand for in order to understand our language. Today we are going to work on the letter A. We spell /a/ with letter A. The /a/ sound sounds like a baby crying. (demonstrate baby crying)

            2. Let’s pretend that our baby brother or baby sister is crying /a/, /a/, /a/. Do you notice what your mouth and tongue are doing when we say /a/? Our mouths are open wide just like a baby’s would be when they cry.

            3. Let me show you how to find /a/ in the word back. I’m going to stretch this word out in super slow motion. Listen for the baby’s cry. B-aaaaaaaa-ck. B-aaaaaaa-ck. There it is! My mouth is open wide and saying /a/ just like a baby brother or sister would when they cry.

            4. Let’s try a tongue twister. “Adam sat on a tacky sack to eat a waxed apple.”Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /a/ at the beginning of the words. "Aaaaadam saaaaaat on a taaaaacky saaaack to eat a waaaaxed aaaaple." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/a/dam s/a/t on a t/a/cky s/a/ck to eat a w/a/xed /a/pple.”

            5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter A to spell /a/. Let's write the lowercase letter a. Start like you are going to draw a lower case c, and then add a stem, just like an apple. For the uppercase letter, we are going to draw an upside down V, and then add a stem, just like an apple.

            6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /a/ in absent or fun? tell or apple? as or off? sat or top? back or core? Say: Let's see if you can spot our mouths open in /a/ for some words. Thumbs up if you hear /a/: The, funny,ask, soap, flew, fat, to, tack, bat, cat.

            7. Show AT and model how to decide if it is AT or OF: The A tells me to cry

like a baby, /a/, so this word is aaa-ttt, at. You try some: axe: axe or mix? SAT: food

or axe? LAP: go or lap? RAT: rake or rat?

            8. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with A. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from above step.


***Files are located at the bottom.  




Maggie Dean, The Baby Cries aaa.

Catherine Edwards, “Baaaa!” Said the lamb.






















































pg 1.pdf
Carly Woods,
Apr 15, 2014, 8:31 PM