Open Wide
       Beginning Literacy Lesson
Shelley Bennett

Rationale:    In order for children to read they must come to see that spellings and letters map out the phoneme sequences, sounds, or mouth moves in spoken
words.  They need to learn the correspondence between each letter and its phoneme.  In this lesson students will learn that the written letter o represents /o/.  They
will practice recognizing /o/ in words they hear and in words as they see in readings.  They also will practice spelling words with /o/.  Learning this correspondence
will enable them to decode words containing /o/ moving students one correspondence at a time towards becoming fluent readers.

short vowel flashcards
primary paper and pencil
letter boxes and letters (each child)
multiple copies of In the Big Top
worksheet (matching words to pictures)

1.  Began by explaining to students that we are still learning the special code of writing in order to become better and better readers.  To read the code you must
know what sound each letter represents. Review previous correspondences learned by asking students what sound or mouth moves other short vowels make.  For
example, what is the mouth move and sound for the letter a?
2. The letter we are going to learn about today is o.  Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  Let practice writing o.  Model on the board writing the letter
o.  Start at the fence line make a curved line down till you touch the sidewalk but don't stop here continue the curve around till you end up where you started.  You
should never pick your pencil up while drawing an o.  As students practice drawing a row of o's walk around the room observing and checking they are correctly
writing an o.
3. When you see this letter o in words it stands for the mouth move /o/.  It is like the sound you make when you are at the doctor and he says open wide.  You say
/o/ and he looks down your throat.  Let's all open wide and make the /o/ sound together.  Good job!
4. Write the tongue twister on the board:  Oliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.  Read it to the students.  On the second reading have
the students say it will you.  Can you hear the /o/ sound in the words?  Lets search out the /o/ sound s in this tongue twister so we can hear them real good.
OOOliver had an oooperation in Oooctober, and Oooscar gave him an oooctopus.  Now let try separating the /o/ sound.  Everyone say it together.  /O/ liver had an
/o/ peration in /O/ctober, and /O/ scar gave him an /o/ ctopus.  Good job! You did a wonderful job at opening wide and saying /o/.
5. Have students take out their letterboxes and letters.  We are going to use what we just learned about the letter o to spell words.  I will call out a word and you can spell it using the letterboxes.  Before each word I call out I will tell you how many boxes to use.  Each sound or mouth move in the word will go in a box. For
example, the word I am going to spell is bop.  I will use three boxes (draw three boxes on the board), because it has three sounds.  The first sound I hear is /b/.  I
will place the letter b in the first box (model on board).  Now it might help to say the word again to yourself, bop.  The second sound I hear is /o/.  We just learned
the letter o stands for /o/, so I will place the o in the second box (model on the board).  The last sound I hear is /p/.  I will place the p in the third box (model on
board).  I spelled the word bop. Now you try. The words I will call out are:  hot, pop, dog (3), flop, stop, frog (4), and blond (5).  After the students spell a word,
we as a class will spell the word and I will write it on the board.
6. Next I will write and spell the words one at a time on the board. After writing a word I will tell the students to turn to a neighbor and tell them the word that is
written on the board.  Then after telling their neighbor, students can raise their hand and be called on to tell the whole class.  First, watch me read a word from the
board.  The word I will use is flop.  Cover up all the letters but the o.  Say: The o make the /o/ sound.  Uncover the first part of the word.  Say: The f stands for /f/.
Say:  The l stands for /l/.  Say:  Blend /f/ /l/ /o/ together.   Uncover the last letter.  Say:  The p stands for the /p/.  Say:  /f/ /l/ /o/ /p/.  Then blend it all together saying
flop.  Now give the students words to read (the same words as used above).
7. Divide the students into partners.  Give each partner a copy of the book, In the Big Top.  Have each partner to go back and forth reading a page to each other.
Remind students if they are reading and get stuck there are things you can do to help yourself.  Say:  First, try to read the word by covering parts of it up like I
showed you earlier.  Then read the sentence all the way through.  Think about if the sentence makes sense.  Then change words that do not make sense.  And always after your done correcting reread the sentence through one time with the corrections.  I will be walking around to help you if you need it.
8.  To end this lesson, I will read the story to the students and we will discuss and talk about the story as we read.  The students will reflect on the story.  For the next lesson we will use this book by rereading a familiar text.
9. To assess the students they will each be given a worksheet with words on one side and pictures on the other side.  They are to read the words and match the
words to the picture.  The words printed could be dog, pot, mop, spot, crop, etc·  While the students are individually working on the worksheets they will take
turns coming to my desk and reading pseudowords to see if they are really learning to decode the correspondences we have learned thus far and see which letter
sound correspondences they have trouble with. The pseudowords could be:  fim, dat, huz, dit, hob.

"Olly Olly Oxenfree" by Kara Oglesby.

Cushman, Shelia.  "In the Big Top".  Educational Insights:  Carson, CA, 1990.

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