Short ‘a’

Introduction Lesson

Review Cards

Sound Cards – pull out beginning consonant cards ( b, c, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, x, y, z)

“When I hold up a letter, say the letter’s name and give its sound.”

“Good job! We are going to learn a new sound today.”

Step 1

Student Workbook page 3 – a – apple

Say “The name of this letter is a. What is the name of this letter? The letter a is a vowel. The picture page for letter a is apple. Say apple. Good. When I point to the picture page, say the letter’s name, give its sound and say the picture word.  Watch me as I demonstrate.”  

Say a, /ă/, apple. Have student repeat 3 times. 

Step 2

Phonological Awareness

“Close your eyes. I will say a word. You will repeat the word and listen for the /ă/ sound. If you hear /ă/, raise your hand. Let’s practice. Say hat. Do you hear the /ă/ sound in hat? Yes, you hear the /ă/ sound in hat so you raise your hand. Good. Let’s practice some more words.”  

Repeat this activity with:

bat, man, hit, at, cat, pen, fat, nap, sock, bag

Step 3

Sound Squares  

Use the back cover of the Student Workbook and Sound Markers for this activity.

Say “How many sounds do you hear in the word bat? Repeat the word and bring down a sound marker for each sound you hear. Remember to use white markers for consonant sounds and green markers for the vowel sound. Touch each marker and say its sound. Then glide your finger under the markers and say the whole word fast.”

Repeat this activity with:

ran, sat, sag, tab, dad, ax, ham, hat, am, pal

Step 4

Red Words

Write the word the on the whiteboard. Say “This is the word the.”

What is this word? Point to the word. Slide your pointer finger under the word while you read it.” Have student repeat this 3 times.

“Now, stand up. Spell the word, tapping once for each letter down your arm. Then read the word again while sliding your hand from shoulder to wrist.” Have the student repeat this 3 times.

“Now write the word in a red marker on the whiteboard saying the letters aloud as you write and underline the word as you read it.” Have the student write, read and underline 3 times.

“Can you give me the word in a sentence?”

Turn to page 156 and put a red check mark next to the word the.

Step 5


Student Workbook page 4 – Word List: Short a 

“Put your finger under the first word. Underline the vowel.  What is that sound?  Now read the word.”

Repeat with the remaining words, reading left to right.

Step 6

Sound Dictation

Student Workbook page 7 – Sounds

“Say /ă/. What letter makes the /ă/ sound? With your finger, write the letter a on your palm. Now write the letter a on your paper. Now, look at the letter you just wrote. What is the name of this letter? What sound does it make?’

Repeat the above activity with each of the following sounds:

/j/, /l/, /v/, /n/, /y/, /b/, /x/, /s/, /ă/

Have the student go back and read each sound that they have written aloud to you.

Step 7

Word Dictation

Student Workbook Page 7 – Words

“Say catSpell the word cat by writing the letters on your palm. Now, pick up your pen and write the word cat on your paper.”

Repeat with the above activity with each of the following words:

mad, tag, pat, zag, had, lag, fat, fan, bad

Have the student go back and read each word that they have written aloud to you.

Step 8

Sentence Dictation

Student Workbook Page 7 – Sentences

“Listen carefully as I say a sentence, and watch as I make a dash on the whiteboard for each word in the sentence.”  

The man ran.

“Now, you say the sentence as you point to each dash. Now, you fill in each dash with each word from the sentence. Good. Now go back and read the sentence that you just wrote.”

Repeat the above with the following sentences, but this time in the student workbook instead of the whiteboard:

The fat cat.

Jan has a van.

Step 9

Fluency Practice

Student Workbook page 122 – Fluency Practice 1 

Place a reading marker under the first row. Going across the row, have the student read each word as quickly as they can. Be cautious, as some students will become very anxious if they feel any time pressure. Never push for speed at the cost for accuracy. Accuracy is more important than speed. If the student will tolerate it, have the student do all 15 rows.

Step 10

Word Games

Student Workbook page 139 – Game 1

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