Julie Dunn
Open Up··Say AHHHHHHH!!!!

Rationale: Children need to understand letters and phonemes before they can learn to read and spell.
Before children can match letters to phonemes, they must be able to recognize phonemes.  Short vowels
seem to be the hardest for children to recognize.  This lesson will help children to identify /o/ (short o).
Through this lesson the children should learn to recognize the /o/ in both spoken and written words.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil; chart with ãOliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave
him an octopusä; In the Big Top (Educational Insights);picture page with mop, bed, cot, jar, top, pin,
dog, hat, fox, box, pig, bug; copy of the song.

Procedures: 1. To introduce the lesson, I will explain to the students that our language is very tricky·it is
like a secret code.  So in order to learn to read we need to learn which sound goes with which letter.  So
pay close attention to the way your mouth moves as we say the sounds and words.  Today we are going
to be working on /o/. I know it may seem hard at first, but I know that by the end of the lesson all of you
will have gotten it.

     2. Ask students:  Has everyone in here been to the doctor with a sore throat before? Do you
remember when the doctor asked you to open up and say /o/ so that he can check your throat? When you
say /o/ you are making the short o, or the /o/ sound. Ok, letâs all pretend that we are sick with a sore
throat and we are at the doctorâs office. The doctor tells us to open up and say /o/. Let me hear everyone
say /o/. Great job!

     3.Now that we all know what the short o sounds like, letâs practice by saying a tongue twister.  ã Oliver
had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.ä Repeat after me. Now lets say it
three times together.   Now lets stretch out that short /o/ out like this ãOooliver had an oooperation in
Oooctober, and Oooscar gave him an oooctopus.ä  Great Job!

     4.Now letâs practice writing the letter o, which is the letter we use to spell /o/.  To make the letter o,
we will start by making a capital C. Start up at the ceiling. Make a half circle down to the basement. Then
make another half circle back up to the ceiling. I would like to see everyoneâs O before we move on.
After I check your work I would like you to make a total of ten Oâs on your paper.

     5.We are now going to sing a song. Some of you might know the tune, but I have changed the words.
It goes like this: (go through it once and then have children sing with you)
 Who has a word that has an /o/?
 Has, has, has an /o/?
 Who has a word that has an /o/?
 Skip to my Lou, my darling!

  Ox is a word that has an /o/.
 Has, has, has an /o/.
 Ox is a word that has an /o/.
 Skip to my  Lou, my darling!
(Have students give answers and then sing with their answers.)

      6. Ask students: Do you hear /o/ in rob or bed?  Do you hear /o/ in jog or jam?
Do you hear /o/ in pit or pot?  Now if you hear the /o/ in a word I want you to raise your hand. (say
words one at a time) Oliver, had, an, operation, in, October, and, Oscar, gave, him, an, octopus. Nice

       7.Read In the Big Top and talk about the story as you go through.  Read it again, and have the
students raise their hands when they hear a word with short o in it.  List their words on the board.  Have
students draw a clown and write a message about their clown using invented spelling.

     8.For assessment, I will pass out a picture page.  We will go through and name each picture, then I
will ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /o/.

References:  Byrne, B., & Fielding-Barnsley, R. (1990). Acquiring the alphabetic principle. A case for
teaching recognition of phoneme identity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 82, 805-812j.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Wallach, M.A. & Wallach, L. (1976). Teaching all Children to read. Chicago: University of Chicago

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