A - Meet the Letter

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Objectives:

Children will identify words that start with the letter A

Children will learn that the sounds /ă/ and /ā/ go with the letter A

Children will recognize the same beginning sounds for the letter A

Children will learn the shape of the lowercase and uppercase letter A

Children will learn the ASL sign for the letter A

Instructions:

Suggestions for Use of Letter Puppets: 

Animate the puppet by hand to introduce the letter sound and letter chant.

Affix the puppet to the end of a pointer or long stick (paint sticks work great) using tape or a glue and:

  • point to posted picture cards or hold up pictures during the letter chant to reinforce word meanings.
  • write the letter chant on chart paper and model one-to-one correspondence between voice and print by pointing to each word as the chant is recited.


Depending upon your teaching objectives, you may want to focus upon just one of the sounds of the letter A during your lesson.

Activities:

Short A

Short A

Display the Short A Poster. Show the letter puppet.

Hi, I’m Apple Annie and I want you to meet the letter A. The letter A can make different sounds at the beginning of words. Today I will teach you the short A sound. The letter A can sound like /ă/ in words like "apple" and "alligator."

Display the pictures. The word “apple” begins with the /ă/ sound. Watch my mouth as I say /ă/. Now let’s say it together: /ă/. The words "apple" and "alligator" begin with the same sound: /ă/. Let's repeat the sound together: /ă/.

Ask children to brainstorm a list of additional words that begin with the short A sound. Repeat the words by emphasizing the beginning sound and write the words on the board while underlining the letter a.

Short Aa: astronaut, acrobat, add, after, animal, ask, as, at, etc.

Teach children the letter chant and the ASL sign for the letter A.
Note: We integrate the American Sign Language as a visual and kinesthetic support to teach letter recognition.

Letter Chant:
Let’s say a chant together for the short A sound as in "apple" and "alligator."

"Apple" begins with the letter A. (Make the letter A sign language sign.)
“A” sounds like /ă/ in "apple."
Can you hear it /ă/, can you hear it /ă/?
(Use hand to cup ear to pantomime listening.)
/ă/, /ă/, /ă/

"Alligator" begins with the letter A. (Make the letter A sign language sign.)
“A” sounds like /ă/ in "alligator."
Can you hear it /ă/, can you hear it /ă/?
(Use hand to cup ear to pantomime listening.)
/ă/, /ă/, /ă/

Repeat with other short A words.

Point to the uppercase and lowercase letter A on the Short A Poster.

This is the uppercase letter A
Let children describe the letter's shape and write the letter in the air.

This is the lowercase letter a
Let children describe the letter's shape and write the letter in the air.

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Long Letter Aa Poster

Long A

Display the Long A Poster. Show the letter puppet.

Hi, I’m Apple Annie again and I want you to meet the letter A. Remember how we discussed that the letter A can make two different sounds at the beginning of words? We learned that the letter A can sound like /ă/ in words like "apple" and "alligator." Today I will teach you the long A sound. The letter A can also sound like /ā/ in words like "ape" and "acorn."

Ask children to brainstorm a list of additional words that begin with the long letter A and write them on the board and underline the letter a.

Long Aa: apron, age, ate

Teach children the letter chant and the ASL sign for the letter A.

Display the pictures. The word “ape” begins with the /ā/ sound. Watch my mouth as I say /ā/. Now let’s say it together: /ā/. The words "ape" and "acorn" begin with the same sound: /ā/. Let's repeat the sound together: /ā/ as in "ape" and /ā/ as in "acorn."  

Letter Chant:
Let’s say a chant together for the long A sound as in "ape" and "acorn."

"Ape" begins with the letter A. (Make the letter A sign language sign.)
“A” sounds like /ā/ in "ape."
Can you hear it /ā/, can you hear it /ā/?
(Use hand to cup ear to pantomime listening.)
/ā/, /ā/, /ā/

"Acorn" begins with the letter A. (Make the letter A sign language sign.)
“A” sounds like /ā/ in "acorn."
Can you hear it /ā/, can you hear it /ā/?
(Use hand to cup ear to pantomime listening.)
/ā/, /ā/, /ā/

Point to the uppercase and lowercase letter Aa on the Long A Poster.

This is the uppercase letter A
Let children describe the letter's shape and write the letter in the air.

This is the lowercase letter a
Let children describe the letter's shape and write the letter in the air.

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