Mr. Cloak Loads his Boat with Oats

Beginning Reading Lesson


By: Leah Steiner

For children to read and spell words, it is imperative that they understand that letters stand for phonemes.  Also, spellings map out the phonemes that are found in spoken words.  By practicing correspondences, which is composed of a grapheme and a phoneme, a child will come to have a better understanding of letters, phonemes, and the mappings of phonemes in spoken words.  In this lesson, the students will learn the correspondence, oa = /O/.  They will be able to recognize the /O/ sound in spoken and written words in connection with the letter representation of oa.

Elkonin letterboxes for each child in the class; Letterbox letters (oa, t, l, d, c, s, p) for each child
Dry erase board and markers
Bo and Rose (One copy for each student)
Primary paper and pencil for each student
Pre-made worksheet with sentences that contain the oa= /O/ correspondence; Another worksheet with pictures and corresponding words

1. Begin by having students think of words that make the oa sound. Write the words they provide on the dry erase board. Some of these words may make the oa sound, but may not be spelled with oa.

2. Explain to students the different ways to make the /O/ sound. Circle the words on the board that represent this correspondence. (Make sure to lead students in the right direction of responses. For example, if no words are being given that represent oa say, “does boat make the /O/ sound?”)

3. Have students join in to say the tongue twister. “I want everyone to listen to the sentence I am going to say very closely because we are going to try to say it as a class.” Teacher says: “Mr. Cloak loads his boat with oats.” “Now everyone try this together, Mr. Cloak loads his boat with oats.” (Have this tongue twister written on a sentence strip. Call on students to underline the part that makes the /O/ sound in each word.)

4. Now have students drag out the tongue twister. “This time let's drag out our long /O/ sound in our tongue twister.  "Mr. Clooooaaaaaack loooooaaaaads his boooooaaaaaat with ooooooaaaaaaats."

5. Now, it is time for the letterbox lesson.  Review the rules with the class first.  For example, "If there is one sound but two letters, how many boxes need to be used? After reviewing the rules, go over a few examples with the students, explaining what you are doing and why.  To do this, draw letterboxes on your dry erase board so that the students can see and model examples.  For example, "Okay class, I have drawn 3 letterboxes.  I am trying to spell the word boat.  Okay, so let me break it up. b- O - t.    b- O- t.  Okay.  In my first box, I need the b sound, so I'm going to put a b in the first box.  For the second box, I need the O sound.  I can spell that with an oa.  SO, I’m going to put oa in the second box for my O sound.  T is my last sound.  For the last box, I'm going to put a t.  So let me put it all together.  Boat.  Great!  That's boat.  Now, let’s try a few.  First, let's get out our letters oa, t, l, d, c, s, p.  Our first word is soap (3 letterboxes).  The next word is boat (3 letterboxes).  The next word is coat (3 letterboxes).  The last word is load (3 letterboxes).  “Great job class!  Now let's go back, and I'll spell the words and you will read the words.” (Spell words without letterboxes and have students read them).

6. "Now, we are going to read, Bo and Rose. When you come across a word that makes the /O/ sound that we learned today, I want you to write it down on your own sheet of paper.  When everyone is finished reading, we can go through and see if we found all of the words."

7. Now, I want you to look at the worksheet I have given you. It has lots of sentences on it with words that make the /O/ sound. I want you to read silently and circle the words that make the /O/ sound. When everyone is finished, I want you to put your pencil down and we will read through the sentences together.”

Pieplow, Jessica. (2003) Load the Boat to Travel the Moat.  A beginning reading design created by Jessica Pieplow.  Auburn University, Reading Genie Website.