This is the first lesson in the Learning To Read In Spanish Series. If you missed the background information, click here to read!
Objective: Use knowledge of letters and letter sounds to correctly spell the words mamá, papá, Ana, Memo, and y
Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.C Read common high-frequency words by sight (e.g., the, of, to, you, she, my, is, are, do,does).
- Large alphabet letters (free printable here!)
- permanent marker and 5 3×5 index cards (or use my flashcard printable here!)
- the book El Silabario Castellano por Porfirio Brenes Castro (page one is scanned here!)
Duration: 45 minutes
Lesson Plan: After simply gathering the materials, Big Sister and I did everything else together. If you use my printables, you can skip Step 1.
Note: The <> symbol around a letter denotes the use of its phonetic sound rather than the pronunciation of the letter.
- I had purchased a set of letters at the Dollar Tree, (I chose this particular set because there were multiple copies of each of the letters) and they needed to be punched out. We started by both punching out the letters, but that didn’t work because they were too easy for little hands to tear. I would tear out a letter, and then hand it to Little Sister.
- When I handed her the letter, I would ask: ¿Qué letra es? (What letter is this?) If she knew it, I would say ¡Bien! Sí, es la “m” de mami. “Mmmmm.” Thereby giving her the letter name, a word that the letter started with, and the sound the letter makes. I tried to make sure that the words that I gave her were words that are common in her vocabulary. I did this because I was setting the stage for using the sounds of letters to sound out new words. This step took us about 20 minutes.
- While Big Sister played with the letters for a few more minutes, I checked the back of the “Silabario Castellano”, where the sight words by lesson are listed. The first 5 words in the first lesson of the first section are mamá, papá, Ana, Memo and y. I wrote each word, largely, on the unlined side of the index card in her favorite color of purple. I will continue to use purple for the rest of the first section. These will serve as sight word flashcards, or posters, or something to match with a picture of the word in the future.
- Next, I gathered the letters that we would need in order to spell the words for today. I did this by asking Big Sister to bring me the letters. “Necesito una “a”… ¿me la puedes encontrar?” (I need an “a,” can you find it for me?) By asking Big Sister to gather the letters,we were reinforcing the names and sounds of the letters… practice makes progress!
- I laid one single flashcard out, and the corresponding letters to spell the word. I then asked her to put the letters in the same order as they appeared on the flashcard. The first word was mamá. Here´s what she did:
- Spell out AMAM. She did this correctly, but backwards.
- She asked me where the accent was! I quickly cut the bottom of an apostrophe off and we added it to the word. Three cheers for observant child.
- She then spelled out MAAM. I talked her through the phoneme awareness by modeling: “Vamos a hacer los sonidos. <M> <A> <A> <M>. “Maam.” ¿Es” maam” la palabra que buscamos? ¿No? Entonces, vamos a mover una letra para que la palabra se forme de manera correcta. ¿Cuál letra muevo? ¿La “m”? Bien. <M> <A> <M> <A>. Mamá”
- After we spelled the word, I showed her the page of the book where the words were written, and she would pick out the word we had just spelled by pointing to it with her finger.
- We did this for each of the 5 words. By about word 4, she was laying on her side and playing with her feet, and I knew our time was about up. Then we read page 1. She could not read page one at the end of the 45 minutes, but she did ask me to read more pages of the book.
What I would do differently: If I were teaching this lesson again to another student tomorrow, I would look for cut out letters that were lowercase, as I think that it was hard for Big Sister to make the connection between upper and lower case when going between the flashcards and the book. That’s why I included the printables… you can use mine and not have to worry about this!
Bottom line: This lesson worked, we had fun, and I would do it again as an introduction to letters, sounds, syllables and sight words.
Page 1 Silabario Castellano
What techniques have you used to teach your kids early reading skills? How did it work? Join our conversation by commenting below!
Click here to continue to Lesson 2
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