Admire the Acrobats


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • admire
  • acrobat
  • admission
  • avenue
  • app
  • accident
  • advise


  • Video of acrobats performing 
  • Letter cards (see below)
  • Phone graphic (see below)
  • Word blending cards (see below)
  • Writing practice page (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will pretend to admire an acrobat as they read and write words that start with the letter A and make the short /a/ sound as in apple, act, animal, and acrobat.

Practice the skill within an activity
Admire the acrobats

  • Ask the children if they have ever seen an acrobat, or if they know what an acrobat is.
  • Show the children a YouTube clip of acrobats so that they get an idea of what an acrobat does. 
  • Tell the children they are going to admire the acrobats.
  • Write the uppercase letter and the lowercase letter on the whiteboard. While emphasizing the target sound point out that admire and acrobat both begin with the letter A.

A tickets

  • Scatter the letter cards (see below) around the room along with the distractor letters.
  • Tell the children that they will be going to an acrobats show, but in order to get in they will have to have to find a letter A card to use as their ticket.
  • Have the children search the room for letter A letter cards. Every time a child finds the letter A, have them say, “I found an A ticket for the acrobat show!”
  • If a child misidentifies a distractor letter as the letter A, refer the child to the letters A and a written on the whiteboard and ask, “Does this letter look like the letter on the board?”

Find Acrobat Avenue

  • Once the children have all found an A ticket, tell them that they will have to go to Acrobat Avenue to admire the acrobats.
  • Tell the children that in order to find Acrobat Avenue they will have to ask an app on their pretend phones (see graphic below).
  • After the children have found Acrobat Avenue let the children use the A ticket to be admitted to (enter) the show.
  • Make comments such as, “If you have your A ticket, I’ll admit you to the acrobat show on Acrobat Avenue.”
  • Emphasize that the words avenue and admit start with the letter A while emphasizing the short /a/ sound.
  • Let the children admire the acrobats as they watch the YouTube clip again (optional).

Turn your A into an acrobat

  • Have the children write the letter A on a sheet of paper then let them take turns pretending their letter A is an acrobat.
  • Have the children use their A to do flips and tricks all while saying things like, “Admire your acrobat,” or “Look at the active acrobat.”
  • Remind the other children who are watching that they need to act like a good audience and admire the acrobat performing.
  • Have the children stack the A acrobats.
  • Advise the acrobats to be careful so they don’t fall and have an accident.

Apply the skill (choose from the following)
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 end (fingers) (e.g. cat = /c/ tap shoulder, /a/ tap elbow, /t/ tap fingers). Help the children recognize the /a/ sound in each word.
    • ran = /r/ /a/ /n/
    • lap = /l/ /a/ /p/
    • sat = /s/ /a/ /t/
    • bag = /b/ /a/ /g/
  • With word blending cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
    • Change the beginning sound: pat → mat; ran → fan
    • Change the ending sound: man → mat; bat → bag
    • Change the middle sound: sat → set; pan → pen; pat → pot; lag → log

Write the target letter (see below)

  • Help the children write the uppercase letter A and the lowercase letter a, then draw pictures of things that start with the /a/ sound: acrobat, apple, ant, animal.



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.