“Boom, Chicka, Boom!”

Beginning to Read

Jennifer Ivey


This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence oo = /U/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling oo. They will learn a meaningful representation (Boom, chicka, Boom!), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence oo = /U/.


Materials: Graphic image of bomb; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard; Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: b, o, c, a, t, l, u, d, s, e; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: cool, boot, coat, tool, cloud, loose, boo; decodable text: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. & John Archambault, and assessment worksheet. 



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with o, like top, and today we are going to learn what sound oo makes. Both o's make the same sound.  But, guess what?!  When we put those o's together, they say /U/! When I say /U/ I think of one of my favorite songs, “Boom, chicka, Boom!” [show graphic image/sing song]. Now let’s look at the spelling of /U/ that we’ll learn today. Most words that have the sound /U/ in them are spelled with the letters oo.


2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /oo/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /U/ in words, my lips make a little o shape like this. [Make vocal gesture for /U/.] I’ll show you first: Cool. I heard /U/ and my lips made a little o [make a circle motion around pursed lips]. Now I’m going to see if I hear /U/ in: snow. Hmm, I didn’t hear it! Now you try. If you hear /U/ say, “Boom, Chicka, Boom!” If you don’t hear /U/ say, “That’s not it.” Is it in coat, tool, cloud, mop, loose.


3. What if I want to spell the word boot? “I need to put my boots on before I go outside.” Boot is a type of shoe in this sentence. To spell boot in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /b//oo//t/. I need three boxes. The word starts with a /b/, so I need a b. Lets say it really slow to hear for the next letter /b//oo//t/. I think I heard a /t/ at the end so it will go in the last box. Now for the middle we have to remember that /oo/ makes the /U/ sound. Just like in “Boom, Chicka, Boom!” So we will put the /oo/ together in one box. Lets sound it all out now- /b//oo//t/. Boot! Good job!


4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for boo. Sometimes people say “boo!” when they try to scare us. What should go in the first box? [Respond to children’s answers]. What goes in the second box? What about /oo/, did you remember to put them together in one box? I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /OO/ and don’t forget to put the /oo/ together in one box.  Here’s the word: pool, I can wait to jump into the pool; pool. [Allow children to spell remaining words: moon, tool, room, spoon, noon]  Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]


5. Say: You’ve done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /U/: /oo/. Now we are going to read a book called Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. The starts with A telling B and B telling C to meet "at the top of the coconut tree." The letters, in alphabetical order, begin to climb the tree. They are having a wonderful time, but as more and more letters climb up the coconut tree, the tree begins to bend over more and more until "Chicka chicka… BOOM! BOOM!," the letters all fall off. With a partner read and find out what happens after all the letters fall off! [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Chicka Chicka Boom Boom aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss /oo/.] 


6. Say: Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /U/ = oo, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to look in the box of word choices, and decide which oo word matches the picture. First try reading all the words in the box, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. After you have matched the picture, you can try and locate them in the word search [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



Melissa Jackson, What Does a Cow Say? :

Assessment worksheet:

Martin, Bill, John Archambault, and Louis Ehlert. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1989. 24.

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