Megan Lankford
Emergent Literacy
A Visit to the Doctor

Rationale: Children need to be able to recognize phonemes and be able to match phonemes to letters in order to read and spell words.  Children often have difficulty recognizing short vowels.  This lesson is designed to help children identify the short vowel /o/.  They will be able to recognize short /o/ which will help them to read and spell words.

Materials: Hop on Pop (Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books, 1963); Elkonin boxes, letter manipulatives: b,h,l,o,p,s,t; primary paper and pencil, Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights); worksheet with pictures of words with /o/ sound in them

1. Introduce the lesson by telling students that they can recognize the letter /o/ by understanding what the mouth move sounds like.  Tell them that once they learn the sound that /o/ makes, they can find it in words and spell words with /o/ in them.
2. Tell the students that /o/ is the sound they make when they go to the doctor and he or she asks them to open their mouth and say /o/.  That is the mouth move we are looking for.
3. Show them the cover of Hop on Pop.  Have them all say the title aloud after you read it to them.  Tell them to read the words hop and pop while stretching out the /o/.  Write the letter o on the board and tell them that it is the letter that makes the /o/ sound.
4. Have students watch you draw the o and then they can draw it on their paper about five times.  Tell them to start with a little c.  "Start below the fence, circle around to the sidewalk, and come back up and connect at the fence."  Allow for practice with your guidance.
5. Pass out Elkonin boxes and letter manipulatives.  Say: "We are going to spell some words with the /o/ mouth move in them.  Model for them the words: hop, lot, hot, and bob.  One word at a time let them spell the words in their boxes.  Ask them if they can come up with a sentence for each word.
6. Read Doc in the Fog.  Talk about it.  Let the students list some of the words in the book with the /o/ sound.  Have them write them on their paper.
7. For assessment, have students look at pictures on a worksheet and color the pictures of words with the /o/ sound.  Leave the other pictures alone

Reference: Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

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