Yawning is Contagious!



A Beginning Reading Lesson

Haley Thomas


Rationale: This lesson teaches beginning readers about the short vowel correspondence o = /o/. In order to become skilled readers, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. It is also important they understand how to write the letters that symbolize these sounds. In this lesson, students will learn how to say, hear, and spell words with short /o/.



          Graphic image of angel yawning; cover-up critter; Elkonin for each child; white board Elkonin boxes for modeling; letter tiles for each student and the teacher: p, o, t, c, h, p, s, d, n, b, f, r; list of spelling words on a poster: pot, chop, sod, snob, frost; decodable text: Bob is Lost; and assessment worksheet (provided below).



1.      Say: In order to become expert readers, we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce all the words we will be reading. We know some short vowel sounds? Which ones do we know? [Students should respond with /a/, /e/, and /i/. We will build on prior knowledge by adding o=/o/.  When I say /o/, think of an angel yawning, like this one [show image of angel].

2.    Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /o/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /o/ in words, I hear /o/ to make this sound, my mouth is open with my jaw dropped. Let’s use this as our mouth symbol [make vocal gesture]. I’ll show you first: clock. I feel my jaw drop open as I say clock. There is a short O in clock. Now I’m going to see if it is in back. Hmm, I didn’t hear o make that sound my jaw didn’t drop open. Now you try. If you feel your mouth open and your jaw drop, pretend like you are yawning like this [tap mouth with hand and make yawning gesture]. If you don’t hear /o/, then say “That’s not it.” Is it in brick? Stop? Clot? Truck? [Have children make the yawning gesture and pat their mouths when they feel /o/.]

3.    Say: Now let’s look at the spelling of /o/ that we will learn today. We spell /o/ with the letter o. [Write o on the board.] An o by itself means we will open our mouths and drop our jaws, like when we yawn. What if I want to spell the word blot? “Blot at the stain to get it to come out.” Blot means dab or pat in this sentence. To spell blot in letterboxes, I need to know how many phonemes are in the word, so I stretch it out and count: /b//l//o//t/. I need four boxes. I heard /o/ right before the t at the end, so I am going to put the o in the third box. The word starts with /b/, so I will but a b in the first box. Next, I hear /l/, so I will put an l in the second box. Then, we have the o, and the last phoneme is /t/. I’ll put at t in the last (fourth) box. This says blot.







4.    Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. Let’s start out easy with three boxes for pot. We use a pot to grow plants in or cook something on the stove. What should go in the first box? [Respond to the children’s answers].  What goes in the second box? The third? I’ll check everyone’s spelling as I walk around. You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. The next word is chop. I need to chop this onion before I can cook it. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Now watch how I spell it in my letter boxes: ch-o-p and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another word with three boxes: sod. I laid sod in my yard. [Have a volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Next word: let’s see if this has the /o/ sound before we spell it: bet. I bet you I’ll beat you in a race! Did you hear short o? Why not? Right. It is spelled with a short vowel e. [Volunteer spells it on the front board]. Now let’s try four phonemes: snob; that girl was such a snob. One more then we are going to be done with spelling. Let’s try five phonemes. You need five boxes: frost. I need help to frost my cake. Remember to stretch out this word and have each phoneme represented.

5.     Say: Now I am going to have you read the words you’ve spelled, but first I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display frost and model reading the word.] First I see that it is an o by itself, so we make our yawning sound. I am going to use a cover up to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend the vowel.] /f//r/ =/fr/+/o/=/fro/+/st/=/frost/.  Now it’s your turn, everyone together. [Have children read the words in unison. After, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]

6.    Say: You’ve all done a great job with reading words and our new spelling for /o/. Now we are going to read a book called Bob is Lost. This a story in which a boy named Ned has a dog named Bob. One day, Bob ran off and Ned is very, very sad. Bob is lost! Ned has to find Bob. Do you think he will find him? Where do you think Bob will be? We must read to find out! Let’s pair up and take turns reading Bob is Lost to find out where Bob goes. [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Bob is Lost aloud together, stopping before each page turn to “talk before you turn.”]

7.     Say: That was a happy ending. Where was Bob? Right, he was at the pet shop. How did Ned feel when he couldn’t find Bob? Right, he was very sad. Before we finish our lesson, I want you to show what you know on a worksheet. I want you to circle the pictures of the words that have the /o/ in them. Try your best to spell the words in the space below the picture. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual progress.]



Cummings, Amanda: Bob is Lost http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/teacherbooks.html

Griffin, Evelyn: Ollie Loves Olives http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/griffinbr.htm

Murray, G: Oh, I didn’t know! http://www.auburn.edu/~murrag1/BRMurrayG.htm


Directions: Write the word each picture describes in the space provided below. Circle the pictures of the words that have the /o/ sound.

1.                               2.

_______________                   _____________________   

3.                                                4.

   _____________________                   ____________________



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