Lazy O

Emergent Literacy Design

Jill Overstreet



Rationale: Before they can read or spell words, students must be able to identify letters and the phonemes they represent.  This lesson will teach students to recognize the letter o in print and the phoneme o in spoken words. The lesson will develop the student’s awareness of o=/o/, by giving them instruction and practice on how to form the short o sound, as well as, practice reading decodable text containing the short o sound. The students will receive instruction in finding  short o  in words.

Material: Primary paper and pencil; chart with “Oscar the octopus offers to open the office.” book on short o, index cards with the letter o, marker board, pictures of objects that have o in their names, book In the Big Top.


 1. Introduce lesson by saying that our lesson is a secret code, and today we are going to learn how to break that code and read words. The tricky part is learning the mouth movements we use to say particular words. Today we are going to work on how our mouth moves when we say /o/.

2. Have you ever been really sleepy? All of us have, and when we are really sleepy we sometimes yawn. Pretend to yawn with me. Did you see what your mouth did when you yawned? It is open really wide and your tongue is at the bottom of your mouth. This is what our mouth does when we say the letter o. This makes us say the “ah” sound.

3. Lets practice our tongue twister: “Oscar the octopus opened the office.” Everyone say it with me three times. Now when you say it, yawn with me and stretch out the “ah” sound at the beginning of the words. Ooooly the oooctopus ooopened the oooofice..

4. Have students get out their pencils and primary paper. We are now going to practice writing the letter o.  Let’s pretend that we are tracing the path of a dog chasing its tail. Start at the rooftop and come all the way down through the fence to the sidewalk. Now, without lifting your pencil, go all the way back up from the sidewalk to the rooftop where it started. This looks a lot like a circle, which is what a dog makes when it chases its tail. Now let’s practice making big and small o’s.

Now Remember when we say o to make the mouth movement of a yawn and say “ah” when you see the letter o.

5. Do you hear the /o/ sound in:(model how this is like yawning)

1. frog or fun

2. stock or stuck

3. clock or case

4. strong or stream

6. Read a story with short /o/ (In the Big Top)Have index cards with the letter o on them for each student. When they hear the letter /o/ have them lift their index cards. Make a list of these words on a marker board.

7. Now have the children write a story about an octopus or anything else they can think of that starts with the letter o.

8. To assess the students have them look at pictures of various objects. Have them circle the word that does not contain the o sound.

 9. References:

Courtney Hamby Suppressing Short O,

Amy Bright Olli Says /o/ at the doctor’s

Click here to return  to Connections