Ollie the Ostrich and Oliver the Octopus

By: Victoria Barron

Rationale: Children must understand that every letter has a sound associated with it. In order to read, children must blend words beginning with the vowel sound, then the body and coda. In this lesson , students will be learning short o. They will learn ways to remember that o=/o/, then practice by reading a decodable book.


Six boxes per student for letterbox lesson

Picture of the letter O with octopus legs coming out of it

Poster with "Ollie the Ostrich and Oliver the Octopus"

Decodable book Doc in the Fog for each student

Cards with phoneme awareness words printed: top/tip, fog/fig, lock/land, frog/free, doc/duck

Copies of worksheets for each student (url below)


1. Introduce the letter O by asking students what your mouth looks like when you say /o/. Let students make the sound.

2. Have all of the students say /o/ and feel the shape of their mouth as they say the sound. Ask, "What words have this letter in it?"  Have the students feel their mouths as they say the word "top".

3. Show the students the picture of the octopus with the tongue tickler written on it.  Read it aloud at a regular pace first, then slowly.  The third time exaggerate the /o/ sound on each word. O-o-o-ollie the O-o-o-strich and O-o-o-liver the O-o-o-ctopus. Have all of the students say it with you.  Repeat.

4. Say, Now we are going to work on recognizing the letter /o/ on words.  I am going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word you hear the letter o in.  Do you hear /o/ in top or tip, fog or fig, land or lock, frog or free, dock or duck?  Great job!

5. Say, Since everyone did such a great job at recognizing which words have the /o/ sound we are going to practice spelling some words that have the letter /o/ in them.  Everyone get your squares out and place them flat on your desk.  Line up all the letter neatly so you can see them.  Be sure to only put one sound in each box."  Model the word strong on the board. S-t-r-o-n-g. (one phoneme in each box). The students should work individually on spelling the words. [words: 3-rock, top, job 4-frog, smog, block, stop, flop 5-strong] Say, Raise your hand once you think you have the word spelled out so I can check it.  Write all the words on the board and have the students say them after they have spelled them all out. 

6. Say, We will now read the book Doc in the Fog.  In this book, Doc does some magic to turn tops into dolls and dolls into mops! Uh-oh, what happens when Doc messes with the fog?

7.  Have the students read in pairs.  Each student should read one page then let the other read the next page.  Encourage the students to help each other with words. 


Assessment: Have all the students complete the work sheet by saying the words to you, then coloring them and practicing writing o.



King, Michaela.  Oscar the Ostrich loves Olive.