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Kids make a paper chain of short ‘a’ words here


Language Arts  



Title – Short “a” Word Chain
By – Jozette Goss
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Art
Grade Level – 1

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills English Language Arts Standards:

      110.3.b.1.3 C: Listening/speaking/audiences/oral grammar. The student is expected to ask and answer relevant questions and make contributions in small or large group discussions.
    110.3.b.1.8 A: Reading/word identification. The student is expected to decode by using all letter sound correspondences within a word.

Learning Objectives:

    The student will be able to:

    • Recognize the short “a” sound in any word.
    • Determine if the words have short “a” sounds.
    • Write their own words with the short “a” sound.


  • Construction paper
  • Tape
  • Chart

Pre-Activity Preparation:

    Cut out strips from the construction paper. Make chart with short “a” and non-short “a” sounds.


  • Call students by group to go to the carpet.
  • Whichever group is quietest will be the first to be able to move.

Establishing Motivation:

    “Today we’re going to make a great chain of short “a” words.”


  1. By group, send the kids to the carpet.
  2. Explain to them that we are going to read the words together.
  3. Tell them that when they hear the short “a” sound, they will put their hands on their head.
  4. Review how short “a” sounds.
  5. Check to make sure they are putting their hands on their head on the right word.
  6. Now ask a volunteer to come up and circle the short “a” word in the 1st row and to put the “short vowel” symbol on top of the “a”.
  7. Do the same with a different volunteer for each row.
  8. Ask some volunteers to think of some more short “a” words.
  9. “Let me show you what we’re going to be doing today.”
  10. Write a short “a” word they give you, sounding it out to write it, on a strip of construction paper.
  11. Do the same for a second word, but on a different piece of construction paper.
  12. Show them how the paper rolls so that the two pieces can fit together like a chain.
  13. Have the students go back to their seats.
  14. Pass out two strips to each child.
  15. Tell them to get out their box, open it, get out a crayon
  16. Now coming up with their own short “a” words, have them write two of them on their strips of paper.
  17. Bring the class back to the carpet.
  18. Have each student present their words and add it to the chain.


  • “Now we have a big beautiful chain for you to all practice with.”
  • Review the short “a” words you went over in class.
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