“BOO!” It’s a Ghost


Beginning Reading

Laura Beth Anderson



It is so important for children the correspondence between graphemes and phonemes.  This will lead to students who are skillful in reading, decoding, and comprehension.  This lesson will give students insight into the correspondence oo = /OO/ in both written and spoken words.  Students will gain understanding of this correspondence through a letterbox lesson will spell words with the oo = /OO/ correspondence, they will then read the words as the teacher spells them, and the practice reading words with the oo = /OO/ correspondence by reading a decodable book.



   Primary Paper and pencil

   Class set of Letterboxes for students and teacher (both two and six box strips)

   Class set of letter tiles for students and teacher (letters for lesson: o, o, a, b, z, f, d, l, p,   g, s, m, r, c, h)

   Poster with the tongue twister (The moose ran from the zoo to scare the goose on the roof by saying BOO!)

   Flashcards with letterbox lesson words written on them (boo, zoo, hose, food, loop, fool, bead, drool)

   Flashcards with pseudowords (foo, poog, hoosh, chood)

   Overhead Projector

   Yoo Hoo Moon. Mary Blocksma. Ills. Patience Brewster. Pub: Bantam Books. 1992.



As we have talked about before reading and writing is made up of a secret code that we have to break to be able to read and write. Every letter or letter combination is accompanied by a sound and it is our job to learn what those sounds are so we can decipher the code. Today we are going to be concentrating on the letter o (write on board). We already know that o = /o/, but what if two o’s are together like this: oo (write on board)? When two o’s are together they make an /OO/ sound…can we all make the /OO/ sound.  This is the sound that a ghost makes on Halloween when they are scaring people. Can you wiggle your fingers like you are scaring somebody this time when we say /OO/!

Take their attention to the poster and first have the teacher read the tongue twister (The moose ran from the zoo to scare the goose on the roof by saying BOO!); then have the students read it with you. Then on the second time tell the students…Good job! This time in each of the words we hear the /OO/ sound we are going to make our scary ghost fingers and stretch out the /OO/. Let’s try it! The m/OO/se ran from the z/OO/ to scare the g/OO/se on the r/OO/f by saying B/OO/! Let’s do it one more time. Don’t forget to do our wiggly fingers hand gesture.

Now listen closely to the following words. Do you hear /OO/ in Roof or ground? Food or drink? Zoo or park? Spoon or knife?

Everybody let’s get out our letterboxes and the following letter tiles for our letter box lesson (o, o, e, b, z, f, d, l, p, g, s, e, m, r, c, h).  Before beginning, remind students that not all words will have the /OO/ sound, some will be review words.  Before the students do their letterbox lesson the teacher will model on the overhead projector. Let me show you how to do one. Class let’s begin with two letterboxes. The word we are going to spell is the word ‘boo.’ The ghost scared me when it jumped out and said boo!  What is the first sound you hear…/b/. So that tells us to put a ‘b’ in the first box. Now what is the next sound we hear? That is right the /oo/ sound that we just talked about. That tells us to put ‘oo’ in the second box. For the rest of the words have the students sound the words out themselves and put the sounds in the letterboxes. We will spell the words (2) boo, zoo; (3) food, bead, loop, fool; (4) drool. As each word it read the teacher will tell the student how many letterboxes they will need and use the given word in a sentence to help students hear the word in context. As the students are spelling words the teacher will be walking around making sure they are using the letterboxes correctly as well as correctly spelling the words.  If a student misspells a word read it to them just as they have spelled it and then repeat the word given for the lesson. If they don’t spell it right this time give them the word. After each given word the teacher will model the correct use of the letterboxes to spell the given word. 

Once the class has spelled all the letterbox words take out the flashcards with the letterbox words on them. Hold them up one at a time and have students read the words (one child at a time calling on them the first time through and then together as a class) they have just spelled in the letterbox lesson. Now we are going to read the words we have just spelled. Now hold up the word boo. When I see this word on the flashcard I will say ‘boo.’

Now have the students use primary paper and a pencil to write a message on the following topic: “What is your favorite part about Halloween?” The messages can be used to see miscues that can help the teacher see where students are struggling and help plan later lessons.

We will now read the decodable book Yoo Hoo Moon. Book Talk: This is a story about a bear that can’t go to sleep until she sees the moon in the sky, but one night the moon is nowhere to be found! Has it disappeared from the sky? What will bear do?

To assess the students I will call them up one at a time while the other students are working on their messages and have them read the pseudowords (foo, poog, hoosh, chood) on the flashcards to asses if they have grasped the correspondence oo = /oo/.


Blocksma, Mary. Yoo Hoo Moon. Ills. Patience Brewster. Pub: Bantam Books. 1992.

Keith, Cassi. The Ghost says “Boo!”   http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/begin/keithbr.html

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