Short a words are the first words students learn how to read. When designing short a lessons, be sure to vary the first and last consonant.
DO NOT TEACH SHORT A WORD FAMILIES
Teaching short a word families like –ad, -ag, -am, -an, -at, -ab can result in reading failure. Why? Students begin to memorize the end unit. They pay little attention to the last letter. When the last letter is switched, they can’t read!
Thus, here is a sample list of what NOT to teach:
bad, dad, had, lad, mad
The student will start rambling “ad” with his eyes glazed over. He won’t develop decoding skills, and when the “ad” is changed to “ag,” he’ll stumble and miscue.
In my short a word list below, I’ve separated words into word families. I’ve done this, so you can deliberately select words from each word family, thereby varying the last letter.
SAMPLE SHORT A WORDS FOR BEGINNING READERS
Here’s a sample of an EXCELLENT short a wordlist for a reading lesson:
dad, ham, nag, fan, Pat
Notice how EVERY consonant is varied. The student cannot blabber of a unit without paying the slightest attention to phonetic units. He must read sound-by-sound to read accurately—a skill that will serve him well in the learning how to read process.
I’ve created a list of short a words to help you design your lesson.
SHORT A WORDS
bad, dad, had, lad, mad, pad, sad, wad, rad, tad, fad
bag, hag, nag, rag, sag, tag, wag, zag, Mag, lag
dam, ham, jam, ram, Sam yam, Pam
ban, can, Dan, fan, man, pan, ran, tan
bat, cat, fat, mat, Pat, rat, vat, sat
jab, lab, nab, tab
Remember to pick a variety of words that will keep your student reading sound-by-sound. In my San Diego Reading Intervention program, I don’t even put two words together that share an ending sound. Teaching “fat” and “cat” in order is FORBIDDEN. It breaks my reading interventionist code of effectiveness.
To help you design your short a lesson, check out Short a Lessons That Kids Will Remember
Short a words are so much fun to teach! When teaching short a words, your student will look at you wide-eyed and realize, “I’m reading!” ONCE HE CAN READ SHORT A WORDS WITH CONFIDENCE, HE CAN READ PRINTABLE SHORT A BOOKS!
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