Beginning Lesson Design

Ayyyyyyy! There it is!

Created By: Jessica Gray

Rationale: This lesson is designed to teach students about the correspondence

a_e= /A/. We teach students to read through recognizing  the spellings that map out how we pronounce words. This particular lesson will teach students to recognize the correspondence a_e=/A/. Students will be provided with a memorable representation; saying Ayyyyy! when you have found something. Also, students will spell and read words with this correspondence through a letterbox lesson. Then, they will read a decodable text that emphasizes that a_e=/A/ correspondence. 


  • Image of a person pointing
  • ELMO/ Document camera
  • Letterboxes for each student
  • Letter tiles: a,e, s, k, t, d, g, v, r, b, w, p. L , m, and k
  • The Race for the Cake
  • Assessment sheet (attached)


  1. Remember how we have talked about how we use the special code to pronounce words? We have talked about how to decode the short vowels. Now, it is time to learn the code for the long vowels. We are going to start with the long A sound. The long A sound has a special signal that tells us that the a makes the /A/ sound. There is a silent e on the end of words that make the long A sound. So we can look for this correspondence, a_e. (Display it for the students to see.) The space between the a and the e represents a consonant. 
  2. When I hear the long A sound I think about the sound that I make when I find something. I say, “Ayyyyyy! There it is!” (Demonstrate by pointing at something as if you have found it. )Can you say “Ayyyyyy?” Now let’s try to listen for this sound in some words. When I say “ate”, do I hear the /A/ sound? Yes, I did. My mouth made this shape. (Exaggerate the vocal gesture). My mouth is open, and my tongue stays on the bottom of my mouth. Let’s try to find this sound in a few words. I want you to point when you hear the long A sound. Skate, trade, grave. Now, what about the word apple. Does apple have the long A sound?
  3. Now, let’s see if we can spell some long A words. We are going to use our letterboxes to spell some words. Let’s start with ‘take.’We need to find out how many boxes we will need first. When I stretch out the work I hear, ‘/t/A/k/.‘ Now I know that ‘cake’ has three phonemes, so I need 3 letterboxes. I know that if I have the long A sound, I am going to have a signal e at the end, so I am going to put it outside the third box. Okay, first I heard the /t/ so I will put t in the first box. Next, I heard the long A sound, so ‘a’ must go in the next box. The last sound I heard was /k/, so ‘k’ must go in the last box. What if we wanted to read a word that had our long A sound in it? Where would we start? Well, since we know that a_e says /A/ we can look for that signal. So, if I saw ‘brake’ I would know that the ‘a’ made the /A/ sound because there is the silent ‘e’ signal at the end. Next, I will look at the beginning of the word. /b/b/r/r/r/A/k/k/, ‘brake.’
  4. It’s your turn to spell some words now. For the first word, you need four letterboxes. Remember our silent ‘e’ goes outside the last box. Okay, the first word is ‘place.’ The school is a place; your house is a place. A place is somewhere you can go. I will be coming around to check on how you are doing. Raise your hand if you need help. ‘Place,’ listen for the beginning sound, ‘p/p/l/l/A/s/’  Now let’s try another word. This time you will need  five boxes. Listen carefully, ‘scrape.’ When you fall on the concrete, sometimes, you scrape your knee. ‘scrape,’ /ss/cc/r/r/A/p/p/’ Remember where your silent ‘e’ goes. Continue this process for the remaining words. Words are as follows: ape, blame, tape, game, trade, brave, and wake.
  5. Now, we are going to read the words we have spelled. Use the ELMO to spell each of the words using letter tiles. Show all the words once and have the students read them aloud in unison. Then, show each word a second time, and call on one student to read the word. Provide each student the opportunity to read one word aloud by his or herself. 
  6. It is finally time to read a book! We are going to read a book called The Race for Cake. This story is about Jess and Ben. Their mom is making a cake. They decide to race to their mom for some cake, but neither of them wants to lose. Let’s buddy up and read to find out what happens with Jess and Ben’s race to the cake. Each child will take a turn reading a page. The students will read the book twice with their partner, then we will read the book chorally as a class. 
  7. Y’all have done such a great job today. Now, I want to see how much you have learned about the long A sound. I want you to come to my table and read some words for me. These words won't be real words. They're made up words; we call these psuedowords. If you are not with me at the back table I want you to complete this phonics worksheet. You will practice spelling words with our long A sound in them. The words the students will read are as follows: make, rame, tape, nave, slade, name, stape, place, have, ape, vate. The link to the worksheet is listed below. 


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