At the River, Unit 2
Decodable words with short a
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Welcome to At the River News!

October 2016

     Monthly, you'll receive ESL/literacy teaching tips and ideas. Many of these will be directly related to At the River and Other Stories for Adult Emergent Readers, but you can also apply these teaching strategies in any way you choose. 
     This month, the focus is on decodable words with short a found in Unit 2 of At the River.

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Shelley Hale Lee
Author, At the River and Other Stories for Adult Emergent Readers



Lesson: Decodable short a words, Unit 2 of At the River
Goals: Students will be able to 1) recognize, say and write the sounds of short a and consonants m, p, s, t, d, j, l, n; 2) blend the sounds into words; 3) read the words; 4) demonstrate comprehension of the vocabulary by identifying pictures.
Materials needed: white board and markers; tape or magnets; flash cards for short a, m, p, s, t, d, j, l, n; pictures/realia for each of these words: Jan, Nan, Dan, sad, mad, lap, nap, pan, man, dad, pad, jam.

1. Sounds: Use flash cards to review sounds. Display flash cards on the board or board ledge.
2. Vocabulary: Hold up each picture or piece of realia. Talk about it with students and ask them to repeat the decodable vocabulary words several times.
3. Hand out the pictures and items to the students and ask them to come to the board.
4. Building words: Say "Jam. Jam. Who has a picture of jam?" A student steps up and attaches the picture to the board.
5. Say, "Think about the sounds in 'jam.' J...a...m... jam." Encourage students to refer to the letters on the flash cards for those sounds.
6. Write the word "jam" next to the picture as students produce the sounds.
7. Repeat steps 4 and 5 with "nap." This time, ask for a volunteer to write the word on the board.
8. Continue with all decodable words, encouraging students to work together to identify the sounds and then write the word next to the picture. Finally, review all of the words.
9. Reading: Sit down with each student and ask them to read the words on p. 14 of At the River.
9a. More practice: If your group needs more practice on p. 14, ask them to listen and place a bingo chip on the word they hear as you call out the words in random order.
9b. Students can also copy the words into their notebook and read them to a partner.
10. Writing: Conclude with a dictation using pp 15-16 of At the River. Erase the words from the board. Ask students to cover up p. 14. Display the pictures and items in the same order as they appear on p. 15 and 16. Students say the word, break down the sounds in the word, and write the word in their books. Answer key: man, pan, pad, nap, mad, sad, lap, jam, Dan, dad, Nan, Jan.
11. Reading: When they are finished writing, ask each student to read the words for you.


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