Leigh Anne Brace
Lesson Design: Emergent Literacy
“The Summer Sun is Hot, Hot, Hot!”
Rationale: Children need to understand letters and phonemes before they can learn to read and spell words. And they must recognize phonemes before they can match them with a letter. Short vowels are probably the hardest to identify, so this lesson will help children to identify one of those short vowels, the /o/ (short o). They will learn to recognize /o/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /o/ in words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with “Oscar the octopus had an operation in October”; drawing paper and crayons; Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights); picture page with sun, box, frog, hat, clock, bus, dog, pig, stop, and pot.

Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for ­the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we’re going to work on spotting the mouth move /o/. At first /o/ will seem hidden in words but as you get to know it, you’ll be able to spot /o/ in all kinds of words.
2. Ask students: Imagine that it’s summertime and you have just played outside in the hot sun. Have you ever grabbed a glass of ice, cold lemonade to cool you down and after one gulp said /o/? That’s the mouth move we’re looking for in words. Let’s pretend we just took that refreshing gulp and say /o/.
3. Let’s try a tongue twister [on chart]. “Oscar the octopus had an operation in October.” Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /o/ at the beginning of the words. “Oooscar the oooctopus had an oooperation in Oooctober.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/o/scar the /o/ctopus had an /o/peration in /o/ctober.” Great Job!
4. [Have students take out primary paper and a pencil.] We can use the letter o to spell /o/. Let’s write it. Begin at the fence, and draw a circle that reaches down to the sidewalk and meets back at the starting point on the fence. Everybody hold up your o. As soon as I give you the okay, I want you to make five more just like it. When you see the letter o all by itself in a word, that’s the signal to say /o/.
5. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /o/ in cat or dog? Hot or cold? Bag or box? Lock or key? Fish or frog? Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /o/ in some words. If you hear /o/, give me a thumbs up, and if you do not, give me a thumbs down. [Give words one by one.] Oscar, the, octopus, had, an, operation, in, October.
6. Read Doc in the Fog and talk about the story. Read it again, and have students clap their hands once when they hear words with /o/. List their words on the board. Then have each student draw a picture that has the /o/ sound and write a message about it using invented spelling (dog, frog, box, etc.). Hang up their work so that others can see it.
7. For assessment, pass out a picture page and help students name each picture. Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /o/.

Reference:
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/gettysel.html (“A Baby is Crying…Aaah!”)
http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/groverel.html (“Open up and Say /o/”)

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