Open Wide at the Dentist, “Aaaahh”

Beginning Reading

Chase Holden


Rationale:  Reading fluency is an important step toward the improvement of reading comprehension, which is the goal of reading instruction.  Recognizing correspondences in words is a trait of a fluent and skillful reader.  In this lesson, students will learn to recognize the o=/o/ correspondence.  This correspondence will be enhanced by spelling and reading words with the /o/ sound.

Materials:       1) Elkonin Letterboxes (paper squares to represent phonemes in a word)

                        2) Letter Manipulatives (paper letters or tiles)

                        3) Dry erase marker

                        4) Dry erase board

                        5) Primary Paper

                        6) Pencils

                        7) Poster Board with tongue twister printed on it: “Oz is not on top of the odd mop.”

                        8) Worksheet with sentences and pictures for assessment

                        9) Doc in the Fog.  Educational Insights: Carson, California, 1990.


1) First, I will review the vowel correspondences we have learned in previous lessons.  These include a=/a/, e=/e/, and i=/i/.  We will practice producing each sound.  I will begin the review by asking what the letter a says when it’s all by itself.  The students should answer with the sound /a/.  The same format will be followed for e=/e/ and i=/i/.

2) You did such a good job with the other short vowel correspondences today we are going to learn a new one.  We are going to learn about the dentist sound, o=/o/.  You make this sound when you are at the dentist’s office and he wants to look inside your mouth and he tells you to say /o/.  Now everybody try it with me.  Open your mouth wide and pretend you are at the dentist’s office and say /o/.  Ready? /o/…Good job!

3) Now I will bring out the poster board with the tongue twister written on it.  Now we are going to learn a new tongue twister with our new sound /o/.  “Oz is not on top of the odd mop.” Great job!  Now let’s say it again but stretch out the /o/ sound in the words.  Ready? Ooo-z is n-ooo-t ooo-n t-ooop of the ooo-dd m-ooo-p.  Great job!  I could really hear the /o/ sound that time.”

4) Now everyone take out your letterboxes and I will pass out the letters we will be using.  (We will be spelling the words: (3) hot, job, top, mom, pop (4) spot.  Let me remind you how this works.  I will say a word and you will spell that word with your letters in the boxes.  But remember that only one sound can go in each box, so before we spell each one I will tell you how many boxes we will need.  For instance if I wanted to spell the word bob, I would put b in the first box, o in the second box and b in the last box.  This is because /b/ is the first sound we hear in bob, /o/ is the middle sound we hear and /b/ is the last sound we hear.  Ready? First word is hot.  An example is, “It is hot today,” At this time I will walk around and make sure that everyone is spelling the word correctly in the boxes and provide scaffolding as needed.  I will continue through the list of words just as I did the first one.

5) Now, let’s put our letterboxes away.  Now it’s my turn to do the hard work and spell the words on the board.  After I spell the words on the board I want you to read the word out loud.  Let me do one for you, (the word hot is on the board) /h/-/o/-/t/; that’s hot.  Ready? First word is mop. “Mop” Great job!  I will continue with the rest of the list in this manner.  By watching the children and their response to the word written on the board and by listening to the class responses I will be able to tell who is reading the word and who is repeating what their neighbor is saying.

6) Now get out your paper and pencil because we are going to write a message.  I want you to write me the best message you can on your paper.  Today I want you to write me a message all about frogs.  You can write what ever you want to about frogs.  While you are writing, try to use some words that have the /o/ sound in them.

7) Before I pass out Doc in the Fog I will do a short book talk.  Doc is a wizard.  He zaps objects into things.  I wonder what will happen if he zaps too many things.  To find out, read Doc in the Fog.  Now I will pass out the books.  The students will be divided into pairs and each pair will receive a book.  I will have the students take turns reading aloud to each other.  Then once everyone has had a chance to read the book to their partner I will call everyone to circle up and I will read the book aloud.  I will tell the students that when I read a word that has the /o/ sound in it they should open their mouths like they are at the dentist.


I will have the students read a page in Doc in the Fog and have them answer a few simple review questions.  They will read the questions aloud and answer true or false:

            1) Did Doc zap the mop into a doll?

            2) Did Doc zap the doll into a box?


Doc in the Fog.  Educational Insights: Carson, California, 1990. . “Say Aaaah”, says the Doctor by Hannah Williams. Summer 2003.

The Reading Genie. .

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