Intro to -an Words

DAY 1: Intro new words and pictures (10-15 minutes)

I kept 5 of the -at words/pictures from our -at sort (cat, pat, rat, fat, and bat) and added 5 new -an words (can, pan, fan, van, and man) to the sort so ALuv could compare the two.  When we did the -at words, ALuv only had to focus on the first letter to help him read the words.  Now he also had to pay attention to the last letter to help him decipher some of the words.  This was going to be especially tricky because several of my words were almost identical; except for the last letter.

1. Name each picture (10 total).  It is important to have common vocabulary; otherwise words like pan might be called pot.

2. Sort rhyming pictures.

Mama: “Oh, look!  I notice that there are some pictures here that rhyme with cat.  Can you find them?”  He did independently.

Mama: “Hmmm…are there any pictures that rhyme with can?”  He finds one.  I encourage him to find more.  We sort all the pictures: rhyming with cat and rhyming with can.

3. Compare cat and can by sight and sound

Mama: “How do these two words look the same?”  (his reply) “How do these two words look different?” (his reply)

Mama: “Can you feel your mouth make the /t/ at the end when you say the word cat?  Try it.” (he tries)  “Can you feel your mouth make the/n/sound at the end of can?” (he does)

Mama: “Now, we’re going to play a game.  I’m going to mix up these two words and I want you to find the word I say.” (shuffle a little)  “Can.”  (he finds it).  “How did you know that was the word can?” (he answers)

4. Model matching words to pictures.

Each time I said a word, I slowly sounded out the letter sounds.

5. Let him match words and pictures with my support.

I asked “How did you know that was the word ____?” after he matched several correctly.  This reinforced the decoding strategies modeled earlier in the lesson.

Sorting the -an and -at words

Day 2:

Looking for -at and -an (5-7 minutes)

1. Reviewed cat and can by sight and sound

2. He helped me rematch pictures with words; talking again about the last letter sounds in those “tricky” word pairs

3. We went through and highlighted -at chunks in blue and -an chunks in yellow to help him visually see the difference.

4. Shuffled the “deck” and had him rematch with support.

Applied to Spelling (5-7 minutes)

ALuv picked out 2 -an words and 2 -at words to write on our AquaDoodle.  As he wrote, we focused on s-l-o-w-l-y sounding out each letter.

Yes, the N is backwards!  We had a “teachable moment”.

Drawing his van.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diana
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 15:23:14

    You have some great activities! I am a special education teacher, and I love the materials and ideas you are using. Someday when I have children, I would like to be a stay-at-home homeschooling mom as well. I really admire what you are doing for your children. Where did you get the pictures that you sorted here? Thanks so much!


    • thisreadingmama
      Mar 14, 2011 @ 16:21:37

      Thanks for your kind comment. Homeschooling is one of those things I thought I’d never do, but I am thoroughly enjoying it. It keeps my passion for teaching alive. Now I’m an advocate for it. The pictures for the sorts came from a Words Their Way (by Bear, Invernizzi, Templeton and Johnston) supplement book entitled Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Letter-Name Alphabetic Spellers. A GREAT resource! I ordered mine through amazon a few years back. The supplement book not only gives you the sort, but ideas on to teach the child the activities. I’ve adapted them just a bit to go a little slower with ALuv.


  2. Trackback: -an & -ad Word Activities « This Reading Mama
  3. Trackback: More Word Family Fun with AP and AG « This Reading Mama

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