Lesson plan

Who Let the A Out?

This is an easy and fun way to help students learn and remember letter sounds. This lesson can be done with minimal resources. Students will love brainstorming words and will be singing even after the lesson.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Students will be able to learn phonetic sounds, recognize, and produce the beginning sounds in words.

(10 minutes)
  • Ask students whether they know the song Who Let the Dogs Out?
  • If they do, ask them to sing the chorus.
  • If they do not, teach it to them.
  • Tell your students that they are going to practice letter sounds.
  • Write the letters "Aa" on the board.
  • Ask who knows what sound the letter A makes.
  • Call on someone to say the sound and ask the entire class to repeat the sound.
(10 minutes)
  • Insert the letter A into the song and sing the line: "Who let the A out- /a/ /a/ /a/ /a/." Sing the sound that the letter A makes for the /a/ part.
  • Ask students to repeat it two or three times.
  • Have students brainstorm words that start with the sound /a/.
  • Add a few of your own words on the board if they are getting stuck and give them hints to help them come up with more ideas.
  • When the students say a correct word, write it on the board and draw a picture of it.
  • If the students say a wrong word, start singing "Who let the A out." The students will reply /a/ four times.
  • Repeat the wrong word and ask the student if they heard that sound in the beginning of the word.
  • Do this until you have about 8 words with corresponding pictures drawn on the board.
(10 minutes)
  • Give students each a blank sheet of paper and ask them to draw an object beginning with the letter A that makes the sound /a/.
  • Ask the students to color in the object.
  • Have your students describe or explain what their object is to the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Separate students into groups and give them picture cards.
  • Include some pictures that start with the letter A and some that start with different letters.
  • Ask students to put the pictures that start with A in one pile and the pictures that do not start with A in another pile.
  • If students finish early, they can draw more pictures that begin with the letter A or color in pictures starting with the letter A from the A is for... worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Ask students to look at grade level books for words and pictures. Ask them to write down 10 words that they see in the book on a piece of paper and identify what letter they think each word starts with. They can draw a picture for each word if they'd like as well.
  • Support: Students can be given additional pictures to practice sorting more words into a box or pile. Try to use pictures that are very recognizable. They can also color the A is for... worksheet to get additional reinforcement.
(10 minutes)
  • During break or in intervals between lessons, the teacher can prompt: "Who let the A out?" and wait for a response from the students.
  • Walk around to the groups when they are finished and check the piles of pictures to ensure that the students categorized the words correctly.
  • If any are not in the right pile, ask the student to tell you whether they recognize the word and to try to figure out what sound it starts with. Help them identify which letter it starts with and emphasize the difference in pronunciation between that letter and the /a/ sound.
(5 minutes)
  • Review the song and all of the words on the board.
  • If you have a computer, you can let the students watch Who Let the Letters Out? on YouTube.
  • This lesson can be done with all the letters for additional practice.

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