Home‎ > ‎

Beginning Reading Design

Show me your wave for AY

Meredith Gray

Beginning Reading Design


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= /A/. They will learn a meaningful representation (Show me your wave for AY), 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/.



·      Graphic image of a kid waving

·       Cover-up critter;

·      Whiteboards or smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student

·       Letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teachers: c,a,k,e,s,n,m,d,r,t, p

·      List of spelling words on poster to read: cake,brave,snake,made,tape, scrape

·      Decodable text: James and the Good Day

·      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 tap, 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 saying hey to a friend like AY.

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 and my teeth separate like this. [Make vocal gesture for /A/.] I’ll show you first: tape. I heard a say its name and I felt my mouth open and my teeth separate. There is a long A in tape. Now I’m going to see if it’s in tap. Hmm, I didn’t hear a say its name and my mouth did not open the same way. Now you try. If you hear /A/ show me your wave to AY . If you don’t hear /A/ then just keep your hands on your lap. Is it in lake, cat, dig, cape, map? [Have students wave 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 silent 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 late? “I stayed up late so now I’m tired.” To spell late in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /l//A//t/. I need three boxes. I heard that /A/ just before the /t/ so I’m going to put an a in the second box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /l/, that’s easy; I hear /A/ after /l/. Lets see what we have so far /l/ /A/ [then point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /l//A//t/.] Now our last sound is /t/ so we should put a t after the a. Now here’s the tricky part if we want a to say its’ name we have to put the e. We don’t say e so we are going to put it outside of the last box. Now lets say the word together (pointing to the letters). lAAAAt.

4               Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with three boxes for cake. “I made a cake for my sisters birthday.” 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 classroom. [Observe progress]. You’ll need four 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: brave; Superman was brave and saved all the townspeople. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: b-r-a-v-e and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another with four boxes: snake, A snake slithered past me when I was hiking in the woods; snake.  Repeat this step for each new word.] Next word. Listen to see if this word has /A/ in it before you spell it: snack; I always eat a snack after to school to hold me over till dinner. 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.]  Let’s try 4 phonemes: made; I made a poster for my reading project. 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 to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /s/+/c/+/r/+/A/=/scrA/. Now all I need is the end, /p/= /scrAp/. scarpe; 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 reading words with our new spelling for /A/: a_e. Now we are going to read a book called James and the Good Day. This story is about a boy named James. He wakes up early to play. He fills up the tub for his sailboat. Then he plays in his room. Let’s pair up and take turns reading James and the Good Day to find out if James ever plays with his sailboat in the tub [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 James and the Good Day aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.] 

Say: That was a fun story. What happened to the tub after James went to his room. That’s right, the water over flooded.

7               Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /A/= a_e, I want to see if you can apply what we learned. There will be a picture and next to it there will be three words next to it. You will have to determine which word next to it is the picture. Make sure to say each word out loud before you pick one. To make sure you pick the right one say the one you picked out loud and check with the picture. (Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.)





·      Adapted from Abby Cook, Jake Takes the Cake,http://aac0020.wixsite.com/abbylessondesigns

·      Cushman, Sheila and Kornblum, Rona. James and the Good Day. Educational Insights, 1990

·      Assessment worksheet: http://www.themeasuredmom.com

·      Murray, B.A. (2012).  Making Sight Words:  Teaching Word Recognition from Phoneme Awareness to Fluency.  Ronkonkoma NY: Linus. P 294.

Back to Index: