A on a Flat Mat


Associate the letter A (and lowercase a) with the short /a/ sound as in mat, can, and sat.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • mat
  • flat
  • pan
  • man
  • tag
  • map
  • jam


  • Flat mat graphic (see below)
  • Picture cards (see below)
  • Letter cards (see below)
  • Word cards (see below)
  • Paper hat instructions (see below)
  • A Flat Mat and A Flat Hat target text (see below)
  • Word blending cards (see below)
  • Writing practice (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will use a flat mat to make words while they practice saying the /a/ sound in words with the short /a/ sound such as van, cat, flat, and mat

Practice the skill within an activity
Make words on a flat mat

  • Show the children the flat mat graphic (see below) and tell them they will use the mat to make words with the /a/ sound using picture cards and letter cards.
  • Let the children choose a picture card (see below) to put at the top of the flat mat.
  • Tell the children to say the sounds in the word, then have them choose letter cards (see below) that match the sounds in the word (e.g. /b/ – /a/ – /t/ = bat).
  • Have the children order the letter cards below the picture to make the word.
  • Repeat the activity using the other picture cards.
  • Point out that each word has the letter A which makes the /a/ sound.

Put word cards in flat hat

  • Fill a mat (sheet of paper) with written words (see below) that have the medial short /a/ sound.
  • Take the words off the flat mat one at a time and point out the letter A, emphasizing that it makes the /a/ sound.
  • Place each word in a hat or in a folded paper hat (see graphics below) then smash the folded paper hat pattern to make it flat.
  • Take the words out of the flat hat and put them back on the flat mat.
  • Make comments throughout the activity that emphasize the /a/ sound (e.g. /m/- /a/- /a/- /a/- /t/).

Apply the skill (choose from the following)
Identify the target letter and associated sound in a text 

  • Read the target text A Flat Mat and A Flat Hat (see below) together as a class/group.
  • Read the text again fading support.
  • Have the children underline the letter A in the words and produce the /a/ sound.

Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Have children identify the beginning, middle and ending sounds of words by tapping their shoulder (beginning), their elbow (middle) and fingers (end) (e.g. cat = /c/ tap shoulder, /a/ tap elbow, /t/ tap fingers).
    • sat = /s/ /a/ /t/
    • can= /c/ /a/ /n/
    • rag = /r/ /a/ /g/
    • tab = /t/ /a/ /b/
  • Have children blend individual sounds into words by tapping their shoulder (beginning sound), their elbow (middle sound) and fingers (ending sound) then clap to say the whole word (e.g. /c/ tap shoulder, /a/ tap elbow, /t/ tap fingers = cat clap hands).
    • /s/ /a/ /t/ = sat
    • /c/ /a/ /n/ = can
    • /r/ /a/ /g/ = rag
    • /t/ /a/ /b/ = tab
  • With word blending letter cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
    • Change the beginning sound: pet → net; red → bed
    • Change the ending sound: vat → van; hat → ham; tag → tap
    • Change the middle sound: cat → cut; tag → tug; mat → met; vat → vet; ham → hum

Write the target letter (see below)

  • Help the children write the letter A then draw pictures of words that have the /a/ sound in the middle: hat, mat, pan, bag, man.
  • Give each child a whiteboard and have them write words from dictation, changing one letter at a time to make a new word (e.g., man becomes tan and tan become tin): man → tan → tin → pin → pig → big → bag → bat → bit → sat → fat → fan → ran → rat.

SEEL Target Texts

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A Flat Mat and A Flat Hat

We had a flat mat.
We put a cat on the flat mat.
We put a rat on the flat mat.
We put a bag on the flat mat.
We put a tag on the flat mat.
Then we got a fat hat.
We put the word bat in the fat hat.
We put the word map in the fat hat.
We put the word pan in the fat hat.
We put the word man in the fat hat.
And we got to smash the fat hat to make it flat.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.