August 30, 2018
by Kerry McKee

EL Support Lesson

Hands On Reading

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Read with Beads lesson plan.
Grade Subject
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Read with Beads lesson plan.

Students will be able to isolate the sounds in three and four letter short A words.


Students will be able to isolate the sounds in three and four letter short A words using repetition, movements and visual supports.

(2 minutes)
  • Ask students what a vowel is.
  • Remind students that a vowel is a letter, and that every word has at least one vowel.
  • Point to the letters on a class alphabet chart as you name the five vowels with your students.
  • Review the short vowel sounds with students, using an image if possible. For example, "A says ah-ah-apple, E says e-e-egg, I says i-i-igloo, O says o-o-octopus, and U says u-u-under."
  • Tell students that today you will be listening for the different sounds that make up a word, and focusing on the letter A.
  • Show students the Vocabulary Cards to review the vocabulary.
(5 minutes)
  • Display an image of a CVC word with a short A sound from the Short A Words worksheet (e.g., hat).
  • Ask students to name the picture. Have students act out putting an imaginary hat on their heads.
  • Tell students to listen carefully as you segment the word into sounds, "h-a-t."
  • Ask students to show you with fingers how many sounds they heard in the word. Model raising three fingers spread wide apart.
  • Tell students that they are correct, the word hat has three sounds. Have students point to each of their raised fingers as they repeat the sounds "h-a-t." Then, model moving your three fingers to touch and pronouncing the word hat naturally as one syllable. Have students repeat the word "hat."
  • Repeat this process with other three letter short A words. As students demonstrate mastery of this skill, introduce a four letter short A word from the Vocabulary Cards.
(5 minutes)
  • Read the sentence frame, "The word ____ has ____ sounds." Point below each word in the sentence frame as you read it.
  • Tell students you will call out mystery words. Show students a picture of a short A word with three or four sounds. Name the picture (e.g., band) enunciating each sound as you segment the word, "b-a-n-d."
  • Ask students to show you with their fingers how many sounds are in the word.
  • Ask students what the mystery word was, and have students blend the sounds together to tell you the word.
  • Have students tell a partner how many sounds they heard in the word using a complete sentence, "The word ____ has ____ sounds."
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute paper or individual whiteboards and markers to students.
  • Tell students that they will practice listening for the different sounds in a word.
  • Call out simple short A words fluently without enunciating individual sounds. Display an image of the word if possible.
  • Have students write the number of sounds they hear in the word on their whiteboards or paper.
  • Practice isolating the sounds with the students by having students repeat the word, first segmenting and then blending.


  • Practice segmenting and blending words with a small group of students using visual supports (e.g., pictures, objects).
  • Work with students to utilize the classroom alphabet chart to match each sound with a letter.


  • Have students practice segmenting and blending words with different short vowel sounds.
  • Observe students during the whole group portion of the lesson to assess whether they accurately show the number of sounds in a word with their fingers.
  • Have students show you the number of sounds they heard on the whiteboard or paper as they write them to check for accuracy.
(3 minutes)
  • Display additional images and have students turn and talk to a partner to practice segmenting the word into individual sounds.

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