How to Write the Alphabet: Aa Rr Mm
Writing Lesson Plan: Aa Rr Mm
Whether you are teaching young students to write in their native tongue, or teaching the English alphabet to your English learning students, this lesson can help you.
Lesson Target: Beginners at reading and writing the English alphabet
Prior Lessons Needed: Read and write Ss Ii Tt. While each writing worksheet can stand alone, the reading lesson builds on previously learned letters.
Lesson Focus: writing and reading
- Learn letters: Aa, Rr, Mm
- Practice writing with writing worksheet
- Practice reading with story
Note: As stated in the previous 'Ss Ii Tt' lesson, I do not advise teaching the alphabet in the actual order of the alphabet. For one, not many words can be spelled with 'abc'. For another, your students are much more likely to memorize the order the letters come in, rather than what they look like. With my lessons, your students can learn a few letters at a time and begin reading a few simple words at once.
Learning the Letters: Aa Rr Mm
There are three things a student needs to recognize when it comes to letters of the alphabet:
- What letter is it? Your students should be able to say the letters by their correct names; a, are, em.
- What sound does it make?Your students should know the main sound it makes. You don't need to teach every variation at once; for instance they don't need to know, right when first learning 'a', that it can make the sound ah as in aught, or ee as in beat. Keep it simple. You will get to the variations eventually. You are introducing the alphabet here; students only really need to know the regular short and long vowel sounds for a, and of course the normal sound for m and r.
It's also worth knowing yourself whether certain letters aren't pronounced in the native language of your students; r can be tricky for young native speakers so imagine how a non-native speaker might do? Some sounds might need more practice than others, and learning letters is a great time to branch out into practicing pronunciation.
- Is it a big letter or small letter? The important part here is to be consistent. Whether you've jumped right into teaching your students the words 'lower case' or 'capital', or whether you've called them big and small, stay with your word choice to avoid further confusing your students. The simpler you keep things, the more easily they will learn..
Keep things simple and keep things fun. For English learners, shorten your questions to the simplest form possible; instead of 'Which letter of the alphabet am I pointing to?' ask 'What letter?'. Show the difference between upper case and lower case when you ask which is which.
Don't forget to review old letters. Why not write 'sit' on the board and see who can read it? Or gather items that start with different letters and have your students sort them.
You can find a copy of the writing worksheet here. To use it, simply print the worksheet and give it to your students. The worksheet includes writing practice for each of the letters, instructions on how to write the letters, and a picture illustrating a word that begins with each letter.
Reading Aa Rr Mm
If you haven't done the Ss Ii Tt lesson, you can still use this lesson's story; you will just have to do more of the reading than your students. If you have already taught 'Ss Ii Tt' this story will build on what your students have already learned and introduce Aa Rr Mm.
You can find the story worksheet here.
There are two ways to use the story worksheet:
- Have your students find and identify the target letters. For each letter, they can make a mark on the page: underline a, put a dot under r, and a jagged line under m. It's important to not put marks that might cover up the neighboring letters because you still want to easily be able to read the story afterwards. Alternatively, students can highlight the letters with highlighters. If you want to practice more with 'Ss Ii Tt', you can have your students identify those letters as well. As a bonus, students might mark whether a letter is upper case or lower case.
- Read the story together. You read most of the words, but when you reach one of the words that only contains the target letters, your students will read that word. You can have them read only the 'arm' words (like 'I am a...') or you can have them also read the words with 'sit'. You can also pre-teach the words your students will be reading so that they will feel more confident reading from the text.
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