Rationale: The purpose of this lesson is to teach students that the letter o says its name when followed by a consonant, then an e (o_e=/O/). At times children have a hard time understanding that letters do not make only one sound. Therefore, they need to learn that when vowels are followed by a consonant, then the letter e, these vowels say their names. Two ways to help children recognize when to say /O/ rather than /o/ are through a letterbox lesson and through a book reading.
Materials: A class set of Elkonin letterboxes, envelopes filled with the letters c, n, h, p, n, t, m, k, s, r, e, o; ãMole King Cole and Anna Toleä by Anna Cimochowski and Susan Miller, published by Steck-Vaughn Company; a map with velcro spots, a moving van made from Print Shop Deluxe Clip Art to move across the map; cards with /o/ and /O/ words on them; picture pages (coke can, bone, cone, rope, stone, pot, strong, stop, horn, and frog) that I make using clip art from The Print Shop Deluxe
Procedure: 1. Explain to students that the letter o can make the doctor sound /ah/, or it can say its own name, /O/. In order for it to say its name, it must be in a word that ends with the letter e. Otherwise, it still makes the doctor sound.
2. Ask students: What happens when you ask their parents if you can ride your bike without a helmet or get as much candy as you want to at the store. What do your parents say? O no! This is the sound that the letter o makes when it is followed by another letter then an e.
3. Now we are going to practice reading AND hearing the /O/ no! sound by looking at some cards. When I hold up a card with the /O/ sound, I want you to hold your hands above your head and make an o shape. Letâs practice (children form o with hands). Great! I would then hold up cards with /o/ and /O/ sounds and make sure that each student could differentiate between the two sounds.
4. I am going to pass out some strips of paper
that are divided into boxes and some letters so that you can spell your
own words with the /O/ no! sound. These are called
Jimmy, please give each student one set of letterboxes and Suzie please
give every student one envelope full of letters. Now that
has their letters and letterboxes, I would like for each of you to take
the letters c, n, h, p, n, t, m, k, s, r, e, and o out of your
You all are so great at knowing what these letters look like! I
going to show you how useful these little boxes are. (I have big
letterboxes drawn on the board with big letters to resemble what the
have on their desks.) Letâs say that I need to spell the
pot. I think to myself that pot has three sounds, so I need three
boxes. I then know that this word begins with a p, then an o,
a t. (Demonstrate next with the word hope so that students can
that the letter e does not belong in a box.)These boxes make spelling
easier because each box represents a sound. First, letâs
some words that use the doctor sound. Please spell the word
I look around the room to make sure that everyone has completed this
Great job! Now letâs spell the word spot. Good!
Okay, since you can spell these words, we are going to try one with the
/O/ no! sound. Please spell the word cone. (Walk around to
be sure everyone has done this correctly). We would then proceed
to spell the words hope, note, smoke, stone, and stroke.
5. Today I am going to read you a story about two moles who are moving to Rome. Have any of you ever moved before? You have to take a moving van with all of your furniture and toys from one house to another. In this story, King Cole and Anna Tole, the two moles, are moving from their mole home to another one in Rome. On the board we have a map with velcro spots and a moving van. When you hear a word with the /O/ sound, I want you to raise your hand and move the moving van. (I will call on a student to tell me the word and allow them to move the van.) By the end of the story, King Cole and Anna Tole should be in Rome at their new mole home. (When they hear the /O/ sound, I will point to the word in the book that is making this sound.)
6.) For assessment, I would have the students look at a picture page and draw a circle around the ones with the /O/ sound.
Reference: Murray, Bruce and Lesniak, Teresa (1999). ãThe Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-On Approach for Teaching Decoding.ä The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650 ; Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie Website http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights.html
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