Beginning Reading Lesson Design


Lauren Hendriks


The Loud Trout Shouts!

Rationale:  In order to learn to read and spell words, children need to understand digraphs so they can match letters to their phonemes. In this lesson, children will recognize the digraph ou = /ow/ in both spoken and written words by practicing reading and spelling words containing ou = /ow/. I will also use a letterbox lesson to help with instruction of this correspondence.

1. Primary paper

2. Pencils

3. The Napping House
by Audrey Wood (Harcourt Children's Books; 1st  Edition, c 1984.)

4. Elkonin letter boxes

5. Letters for Letterbox lesson - c, d, h, l, m, o, p, r, s, t, u, w

6. Chart paper with tongue twister: 
The loud trout shouts with his mouth!”

7. Flash cards with letterbox words on them -
sour, loud, shout, mouth, cow, trout, cloud, proud, plow
(enough for half the students in the class)

8. Worksheet with pictures of certain things, some containing words that have the ou = /ow/ sound in it.



1. Introduce the lesson by writing the "ou" on the board. When we see the o and u next to each other, they make the /ow/ sound in many words. Today, we are going to practice recognizing ou as /ow/ in spoken and written words.

2. Ask students: Have you ever been hurt by someone and said OW!? Well, when o and u are together in words, they team up to say /ow/. Let's all say that together "ow!"

3. Write, "The loud trout shouts with his mouth” on chart paper. Read the tongue twister to the students and then say Now let's all say it together “I found out about her loud mouth.” Let's say it again, this time stretching out the /ow/ in each word: The l oow d tr oow t sh oow ts with his m oow th. Great job everyone!

4. Ask students to take out their letterboxes and envelope of letters. Now we are going to spell out some letters with /ow/ in them. When we spell the words, we will spell only one sound in each box. Because ou works as a team to spell /ow/, both o and u will go in one box. Are there any questions? Model an example on the board for students and ask them to follow along with you at their desks. (ex. word - out) Boys and girls, there are three letters in out, but I am only going to use two boxes. For the first box, I will put the o and the u because they join together to make the /ow/ sound. For the second box, I will put the remaining letter – t.

5. Words for students to spell in lesson:
            3 – [sour, loud, shout, mouth, cow]

4 – [trout, cloud, proud, plow]
(Shows number of boxes needed)
s-ou-r, l-ou-d, t-r-ou-t, s-h-ou-t, c-l-ou-d, p-r-ou-d, m-ou-t-h  
Say each word slowly, emphasizing the /ow/ and use each word with a sentence. Boys and Girls, for the first word sour we are going to use three letterboxes. Remember the rule about o and u going together. I have a sour piece of candy. Sour. Okay, next word…(Keeping going through all the words until finished). Give students time to spell each word and walk around the room throughout the activity to see how students are doing.

6. Allow students to choose a partner and give each pair of students a set of flash cards with the letterbox words written on them. Now we are going to practice reading the words that we have just spelled with our letters. Show the cards to your partner one at a time to practice reading the words. When they have finished, the two of you can switch the cards and the other partner will read the words.

7. Distribute multiple copies of The Napping House (Harcourt Children's Books; 1st Edition, c 1984.) to the students. Introduce the book with this book talk: 

It's raining outside and everyone inside is sleeping. The dog, cat, grandma and grandchild are all snoozing and decide to pile up on grandma in the cozy bed. So, one by one, the child first, each animal and the rodent crawl on top of granny to take a nap. With all these people on one bed, I’m hoping nothing bad will happen! Let’s see what these sleepy people will do.

Ask them to make their mouth wide open like a fish whenever they hear a word with /ow/ in it while reading. Children may read on their own or with a partner.

8. For assessment, distribute the worksheets you have made to students (worksheet is below). Tell them to circle the pictures of the words containing the /ow/ phonemes and then write the spelling of the word beneath the picture. (Pictures that should be included: book, couch, house, lamp, mouse, stove, window, clown).



Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice All, 105 - 118

Casey, April. OW! I stubbed my toe.

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Name ________________________________



Reading Assessment for /ow/ Phoneme


Directions:  Circle the picture whose name has the /ow/ sound in it.



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