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Slamming ‘an’ Article

When do you actively begin teaching articles to children and how do you do so?


This short small group activity is for use with initial short vowel sounds vocabulary. In it I use the flash cards for Writing Worksheets, which are available for free download in the files section of the BAH Facebook group and the children are using the textbook NFO 1. The cards in the photo are: abacus, Africa, album, ant, apple, egg, elephant, exercise, igloo, in, India, octopus, off, on and umbrella. NFO 1 unit 1 teaches the short vowel sounds so once the group as a whole know the vocabulary above they are ready to play, even before completing unit 1 of their textbooks.


I start by introducing the students to their very first ‘sight word’ “an” and then I demonstrate the activity.
“An apple.”
I lightly slam the “an” card and the “apple” card whilst saying “An apple.” Then I say “Africa” and lightly slam the Africa picture whilst saying “Africa.” At this level I only have one fly swatter, which the children take turns with, and they are not allowed to help each other as we never want two bodies with just one brain and we want cooperation not competition. A student volunteer will start off the activity and very soon they will all be listening to the teacher for “an” or the absence of it, slamming the appropriate cards using the correct language and at the same time reinforcing their vocabulary knowledge.


At this stage they have yet to learn any consonant sounds so I’ll save the Slamming ‘a’ Article for another time. In the meantime please give this simple activity a try.


an short vowel slam




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