Aaah” Says the Doc

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

By: Mariel D. Hall



Rationale:  Children must learn to decode many different correspondences in order to learn how to read.  In this lesson, the children will learn the o = /o/ correspondence.  The children will be able to recognize the letter o and associate it with the phoneme /o/ in written and spoken words.

Elkonin Boxes for each student
Elkonin boxes for the teacher
A set of letters for each child and teacher (i, o, b, d, f, h, j, l, l, m, p, p, r, s, t)
Chart paper with the tongue twister on it – Oliver the octopus hopped to Oz.
In the Big Top Educational Insights Phonics Reader
Worksheet containing pictures of words with and without the o = /o/ phoneme, such as an ambulance, igloo, insect, octopus, olive, ostrich, and otter.
Primary writing paper and pencil for each student

1. Remind the students that the letter o = /o/ only when it is by itself.  If there is another vowel, it does not say this sound.  " Today we are going to learn about the letter o (Write the letter on the board).  We are going to learn one of the sounds this letter makes.  I hear this sound a lot when I go to the doctor.  My doctor will tell me, “Open up and say Aaah”.  Has your doctor ever said this to you?  Well, this is the same sound the letter o makes.  It says /o/.  Let’s all say that sound together.  Good, now this time, let’s pretend like we are going to hold a tongue suppressor on our tongue when we say this sound.  Remember, do not touch your hand to your mouth, but place the Popsicle stick on the tip of your tongue.  Let’s all try this.  /o/.

2. Let’s try and see if we can find this sound in our tongue twister.  Oliver the octopus hopped to Oz.  Now you all try saying it with me.  Oliver the octopus hopped to Oz.  Great!  Now this time when we say it, I really want to hear our doctor sound.  Let’s try and break off the /o/ sound in the words as we say them.  I will show you how and then we will all try together.  O – liver the o – ctopus h – o – pped to O – z.  Now you try.  O – liver the o – ctopus h – o – pped to O – z.  Good.

3. Now, let’s use our letterboxes (Elkonin Boxes) just like we did yesterday with the short i = /i/ sound.  When we do this, we are going to review some of the words we already know using different vowels and we are also going to learn some new words with our doctor sound.  Remember, we use the letter o to represent this sound.  (Pass out the boxes and the letters needed.)  OK.  Please turn all of your letters over to the lower case side.  Before we all try some, watch me to make sure we remember how to do this.  Remember, each box stands for one sound.  Sometimes our sounds use more than one letter, so it is important that we listen for sounds in our words.  I am going to try a word with three sounds in it.  (Put out three letter boxes).  The word I am going to try is hot.  /h/ /o/ /t/.  I hear three sounds in this word, so in the first box, I am going to put the first sound.  /h/.  I will put the letter h here.  Next, I hear our doctor sound /o/, so I will put my o in the middle.  The last sound I hear is a /t/.  I will put that letter t here.  Hot!  Now, I want you to try some.  As I call out a word, I want you to put the letters in your boxes.  I will come around and help you if you need some help.   (Tell the students how many sounds there are in each word before you say the word.  This way they will know how many boxes to have ready).  (Call out words which consists of three sounds such as: like, rod, mop, hot, lid, bob, fog, and words which consists of four sounds like: spot, slob, frog, flip).

4. Now, I am going to write some of the words we just spelled on the board.  I want you to read them aloud to me as a class.  If you hear the doctor sound in the word, I want you to show me your tongue suppressor move with your Popsicle stick.  Let me show you how and then we will all do this together.  (Write the word rock on the board).  This word says, rock.  See how our o is in the middle.  This says /o/.  It starts with /r/ and ends with /k/.  Put it all together and this says rock.  (Say it slowly and hold your suppressor up to your mouth).  Now you try.  (Write the words from the letterboxes on the board).  Great Job!

5. Let’s try writing a message on our paper.  We are going to write a message about our pet frog.  (Point to the frog in the classroom.  If you don’t have a pet frog, tell the students that they will be writing about a frog they might see in the pond).  Let’s try and use some words that have the /o/ sound in them in our message.  (I will allow the students to use their inventive spellings to write their messages).

6. (I will pass out copies of In the Big Top to each pair of students).  This book is about a family who is in the circus.  There are lots of people in this circus and they all have a lot of stuff.  They are trying to figure out how to get all of their stuff into a little hot rod.  How do they get everything and everyone to fit?  You will have to read the rest of the story to find out how.  (Allow them to read with a buddy as you walk around and scaffold when needed).

7. I will then pass out the worksheet.  This worksheet will have pictures of things with the /o/ phoneme in them.  Some of the objects will not have this phoneme in them.  Ask the children to circle the pictures that have the doctor sound in them with a pencil.  Then, ask them to write the name of the object underneath it on the line using their inventive spellings.  This worksheet will be the students’ assessments.

1. Whitney Adams, Hop Scotch.

2. Kara Oglesby, Olly, Olly, Oxenfree

3. In the Big Top.  Phonics Readers Short Vowels.  Educational Insights.

4. Murray, B. A and T. Lesniak. (1999). The letterbox Lesson: A Hands on approach to teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

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