O, Do You Know?

By: Adrienne Boggs


Rationale:  "Knowledge of letters and phonemic awareness have been found to bear a strong and direct relationship to success and ease of reading acquisition…"  (Adams).  Before they can read or spell words, students must be able to identify letters and the phonemes they represent.  This lesson will teach students to recognize the letter o in print and the phoneme /O/ in spoken words.



No David by David Shannon

Pipe Cleaners (1 per child)

Large Mason Jar lid rings (1 per child)

Magnifying Glass

Picture of detective

Primary Paper and Pencils



  1. Introduction, "We read words in our favorite stories, so let's be detectives and discover what makes words!  Is it letters???  YES! It's letters that makes up words, so let's discover these letters so we can solve the mystery of reading and writing.  Today let's discovery the letter o.  The letter o makes the /o/ sound.  Repeat after me:  Olly octopus occupies the octagon during October.  GOOD!"  Did you hear the /o/ sound in some of those words???" 
  2. Teach background knowledge.  Show picture of a detective using a magnifying glass.  "Do you know what the detective in the picture is using to help him discover tiny clues that we can't see with just our eyes?  That's right he has a magnifying glass to help make tiny things larger.  Have you ever seen a magnifying glass at your house??  Can anyone discover what shape is in our magnifying glass??  You're a good detective!  It's a round shape just like the letter we are going to discover today.  It's the letter O. 
  3. Pass out jar lids to students.  "To be a good detective we have to take our o's and look at them very closely.  Now take your finger and feel your o and go around and around the o.  That is how we are going to write an o." (Model for students).  "Your good detectives!  Now we are going to learn how to write o's on primary paper.  Demonstrate how to write a capitalized o on primary paper.  "First we are going to start at the roof and curve like this down to the ground.  Then we are going to curve back up to the roof without lifting your pencils.  Very Good!  Don't take flight into the sky and don't wreck in the ditch."
  4. "Now that you are good detectives you need your own magnifying glass."  Pass out pipe cleaners to students.  Model for students how to make their very own magnifying glass.  "Now we are going to read a story and I want you to use your new magnifying glasses to find the o's  in the story."
  5. Read the title of the book No, David,  while pointing to each word of the title ask students if they recognize which word has an o in it.  Repeat the title No, David and point to each word until students recognize which word has the letter o in it.  "Now look closely as I read this book and I want you to raise your magnifying glass to your eye if you discover the letter o on any page."   Students can use their magnifying glass to show the class the o that they discovered on the page.  Ask students if they can find any other o's on the page.  Give all students opportunity to participate in the activity.
  6. Pass out a different book to each student.  "Now that you are good detectives, you are going to search for o's in your book.  Every time you discover an o, I want you to write an o on your detective note paper.  We can count our o's and discover who has more o's in their book.  Do we find o's in words in our books?  When we learn letters we can learn to read words in our books." 


Assessment:  I would have students come up to my desk individually and show me a couple of pages with words the have the letter O.  Then I would assess them by grading their primary paper with the O's written on them. 




Adams, M.J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning
      About Print
.  Center for the study off Reading and the Reading
      Research and Education Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Shannon, David.  No, David.  Scholastic, Inc.  1998. 


Pictures:  http://images.google.com/images?q=Inspector+gadget


Mink, Shay.  "OOOhhhh, My Toe."  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/minkel.html

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