EL Support Lesson

How Many Sounds Does A Make?

Your students will learn all about the many sounds of the letter A in this vowel-focused lesson plan. It can be used as a stand-alone or support lesson for the **Vowel Hop** lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theVowel HopLesson plan.
GradeSubjectView aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for theVowel HopLesson plan.

Students will be able to identify words with long vowel sounds.


Students will be able to pronounce and sort words containing long and short A sounds using visual supports.

(2 minutes)
Vowel Sounds: Long A, Short ATeach Background Knowledge TemplateWrite Student-Facing Language Objectives ReferenceVowel Sounds: Long E, Short EVocabulary Cards: EL Support Lesson: How Many Sounds Does A Make?Glossary: Monster SubtractionGlossary: How Many Sounds Does A Make?
  • Gather the class together.
  • Sing the alphabet song along with your students, pointing to the letters on a class chart as you sing.
  • Write up the five vowels (A, E, I, O, U) on chart paper and say, "Most letters in the alphabet make one sound. There are five special letters, called vowels, that make two different sounds. Today we are going to learn about the two different sounds the letter A makes."
(5 minutes)
  • Write the uppercase and lowercase letter A on a new piece of chart paper or on the whiteboard.
  • Ask, "Who remembers the sound the letter A makes?"
  • After 10 seconds of think time, say the short A sound and have the students repeat the sound after you, "A says 'ah, ah,' like apple, and 'ah, ah,' like ant. Sometimes the ASound comes in the beginning of a word like the word apple, and sometimes it comes in the middle of a word, like cat." In 'cat,' slowly sound out the three letter sounds in the word (c-a-t).
  • Say, "Today we are going to focus on the other sound the letter A makes. This is called the long sound. We know a vowel makes a long sound when it says its own name in a word, like in the word ape."
  • Demonstrate drawing the long A symbol over the "a" in the word "ape" on the board and say, "We call this the long A sound. When we need to remember if a vowel makes a long sound, we draw a long line over the vowel, like this (draw āOn the board)."
  • Model how to draw the long vowel symbol, then ask students to practise drawing the long vowel symbol in the air.
  • Say, "Just like the short A vowel sound, the long A vowel sound can come in the beginning of a word like the word ape, and sometimes it comes in the middle of a word, like 'tape' (slowly sound out the letter sounds in the word). Let's practise listening for and saying the long vowel sounds in some words. When you hear the long A sound, draw your line in the air."
  • Display the long A vocabulary cards ("cape," "cake," "gate," "train") and go over them one at a time (first checking that students understand the definition of each word, providing home language L1 definitions as able).
  • As you go over each word, emphasize the long A sound in each word and wait for students to draw their line in the air.
  • Repeat the words and have students echo them after you.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to think about other words that use the long A sound.
  • Have students turn and talk to share their words with a partner.
  • Invite each pair to share out their long A words with the class and record the words on a "Long A" class anchor chart.
(10 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will get to practise identifying and sorting words that contain either long or short vowel sounds.
  • Model how to cut out the pictures in the worksheet (use this as an opportunity to go over each word to ensure correct pronunciation) and then glue the words onto the correct side of the worksheet (long or short).
  • Pass out materials and send students to work independently.


  • Have students work with a partner to complete the worksheet.
  • Provide additional word cards for students to practise sorting in a small group.


  • Have students identify words in the classroom containing long and short A sounds and share them with a partner.
(5 minutes)
  • Circulate around the room and assess if students are able to differentiate between long and short vowel sounds.
  • Check that students understand the differences between the two sounds by listening as they share words with a partner. Are they able to identify words containing the long A sound?
(3 minutes)
  • Gather the class back together and have them practise identifying long vs. short A sounds using the vocabulary cards.
  • If time allows, practise using the long A words in sentences.

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