Lesson plan

Short Vowel Sounds: A

Help your students improve their language skills by identifying the short A sound and decoding words.
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  • Students will match the letter A with the /ă/ (short A) sound.
  • Students will practice identifying the short A sound in the -ad and -at word families.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask your students to recite the alphabet. Afterward, have them say which of the letters are vowels.
  • As the class says the vowels, write them on the board. If necessary, remind the class that the vowels are A, E, I, O, and U.
  • Tell your students that they will be focusing on the /ă/ sound.
  • Ask your students for examples of the difference between the long and short A sounds. Possible answers include: gate and pat.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell your students that you are going to do a call and response. You will call: Who let the A out? Have your students respond: /ă/ /ă/ /ă/ /ă/ /ă/.
  • Ask the class to say words that begin with the letter A. For visual learners, draw pictures of the words on the board, and label them. Some great examples include: apple, alligator, and axe.
  • Prompt students to list CVC words that are also on the Short A Sound worksheet, such as bat and hat.
  • Instead of telling students that they are right or wrong, create audio cues. For example, if a student gets an answer right, play a clapping sound.
(5 minutes)
  • Write -ad on the board. Ask students to sound it out one letter at a time. For example, say the /ă/ sound, and then say the /d/ sound. Then, combine them.
  • Ask your students for examples of words that end in -ad. Possible examples include mad, fad, and lad.
  • Model how adding and changing the consonants at the beginning of a word can create other words. For example, explain that bad, mad, and dad have different meanings.
  • Have the students come up with more words independently, and ask them to share their chosen words with the class.
  • Keep the focus on the /ă/ sound at all times.
  • Repeat these steps with -at.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out copies of the Short A Sound worksheet to your students.
  • Tell your students to circle the objects that have the /ă/ sound.
  • On the back of the worksheet, ask your students to draw five objects that have the /ă/ sound.
  • Encourage your students to draw pictures that are different from the ones on the worksheet.
  • Enrichment: Have your students make /ă/ word flashcards with paper. Have them practice with a neighbor.
  • Support: Allow students in partners or small groups to take turns identifying the /ă/ words on the worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Walk around the room, and make sure that students are doing the activities correctly. For example, if students are incorrectly circling objects, ask them to say the words quietly and retry.
(5 minutes)
  • Review this lesson by asking your students to share words with the short A sound aloud. Possible discussion questions include: What is the difference between the sounds? What shape does your mouth make when you make each sound?

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