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Letter A and the Phonics Vowel /a/ Sound

Teaching the "Short A"

The letter A is the first letter and also the first vowel of the alphabet. As we've repeated many times on our site, to make learning to read as simple a process as possible, we first teach the "simple code", and in this case, we teach the short A sound of /a/ first.

In case you're not sure how a short A should sound, please see video below:

Take a look at these few sample letter A words:

CAT - /c/ /a/ /t/

BANK - /b/ /a/ /n/ /k/

CLAP - /c/ /l/ /a/ /p/

The 3 above words all include the short A sound, which very much sounds like "AH". We write the "AH" sound as /a/.

Learning Activity for /a/

  1. Point to the letter and tell the child this makes the /a/ "ah" sound. Say it nice and clear, and then repeated it.
  2. Ask the child to repeat after you've demonstrated.
  3. Ask: "Does APPLE have the /a/ sound?" Wait for response. If child is unsure, speak clearly and emphasize the "ah" sound in APPLE.
  4. Repeat with other /a/ words. Examples: MAP HAT CAT ANT
  5. Review A and /a/ sound. Point to A and ask "what sound does this make?"

Letter A Worksheets

Click below for printable worksheets for practicing the letter A and its /a/ sound.


Letter A Rhyme and Song

Astronaut, astronaut. Ah! Ah! Ah!

Astronaut, astronaut. Rah! Rah! Rah!

Astronaut, astronaut. Got lost in space!

Ah! Ah! Ahhhhhh!


Alligator, alligator Ah! Ah! Ah!

Alligator, alligator Rah! Rah! Rah!

Alligator, alligator, had a big sneeze.

Achoo! Achoo! Ah! Ah! Achoo!


Alligator, alligator Has a big mouth.

Alligator, alligator Wants to eat!

Alligator, alligator He's chasing me!

Ah! Ah! Ahhhhhh!


You can also substitute with: