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Short A Needs a Nap
Target text


Children will read and write words with the short-a sound.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • Man
  • Nap
  • Tap
  • Bash
  • Mash
  • Chat
  • Slam


  • Household items or percussion instruments that make noise
  • Short-a Needs a Nap! text*
  • Short-a, Take a Nap! text*

*Items included below


State and Model the Objective

Tell children they will read about things that short-a can do, then act them out.


Literacy Activities

Read Short A, Take a Nap! text together

  • Read Short A, Take a Nap! with the children and fade support.
  • Ask the children to make noises to go with the words in the text (e.g., tap, clap, snap, crash, smash, splash, chat, rat-a-tat-tat, wham, crack, whack)
  • Re-read the text, having children substitute actions or sounds for some of the words. 
  • Pretend to take a nap at the end.

Make noise with short-a words

  • Have the children read displayed words from the text: whack, tap, clap, slam, wham, crack, snap
  • Have the children use objects or instruments to create the sounds.
  • Let all noise-making items “take a nap” as they are put away.

Read Short A Needs a Nap! text together

  • Read Short A Needs a Nap! with the children and fade support.
  • Have the children tell you some words they heard that have the short-a sound.
  • Brainstorm with the children other words with the short-a sound (e.g., pan, sand, candy, sad, dad).

Create words with the short-a sound

  • Say the beginning, middle, and end sounds of a short-a word (c-a-n, r-a-n, c-a-t, ch-a-t, s-l-a-m). Have the children blend the sounds into words (e.g., c-a-n = can, s-l-a-m = slam).
  • Say words and help the children segment them into their sounds (e.g., can = c-a-n).  
  • Have the children change either the beginning or the end sound to make a new word (e.g., “Change the /k/ in can to /m/. What’s the new word?”)


SEEL Target Texts

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Short a Needs a Nap!

Short a is a busy sound.
I can find short a in can and ran and man.
I can hear short a when a cat and a rat nap on a mat.
The short a sat for a chat.
Do you hear short a in slam and wham?
The short a is in my back-pack when I get a snack.
Short a is so busy, it needs a nap!

Short A, Take a Nap!

Short a makes a lot of noisy sounds! 
I can hear short a in tap, clap, rap, slap, snap, yap, and zap.
Short a is in bash, crash, slash, mash, smash, and splash.
Do you hear short a in chat? Splat? And rat-a-tat-tat?
Short a makes things go slam and wham!
Short a is in smack and crack and whack.
Short a, you are too noisy!
Go take a nap!



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K Reading: Foundational Skills Standard 3b. 
Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels