Load the Boat to Travel the Moat
Beginning Reader Lesson

By: Jessica Pieplow

For children to read and spell words, it is imperative that they understand that letters stand for phonemes.  Also, spellings map out the phonemes that are found in spoken words.  By practicing correspondences, which is composed of a grapheme and a phoneme, a child will come to have a better understanding letters, phonemes, and the mappings of phonemes in spoken words.  In this lesson, the students will learn the correspondence, oa = /O/.  They will be able to recognize the /O/ sound in spoken and written words in connection with the letter representation of oa.

Elkonin letterboxes and letterbox letters (oa, t, l, d, c, s, p) for each child,
dry erase board and markers,
Bo and Rose books for each student,
primary paper and pencil for each student,
pre-made worksheet with sentences that contain the oa= /O/ correspondence,
another worksheet with pictures and corresponding words

1. Begin by learning the oa= /O/ correspondence to review the long O sound.  Have students think of words that make the long O sound.  Write the words that are given on a small dry erase board.  Some of these words may be the written with oa, but some may not.
2. Discuss the /O/ sound and explain that there is more than one way to represent this sound.  Look on the board and select the words that represent the /O/ sound with the letters, oa.  (If there is not one up there, show the students some words with the selected correspondence.  Circle the oa correspondence in all of the words on the board.
3. Now is the time to introduce the tongue twister for the correspondence.  Write this sentence on the board so that the students can see the words.  Then, read the sentence to the students.  "This is our tongue twister for the long /O/ sound.  Load the boat to travel the moat.  Now we are going to go through and underline our long /O/ sound.  Load(underline) the boat(underline) to travel the moat(underline).  Now, let's all say this tongue twister together.  Clap your hands one time when you hear the long /O/ sound."  Make sure that the students clap each time it is appropriate in the sentence.  Do this twice.
4. "Great job!  This time let's drag out our long /O/ sound in our tongue twister.  "Loooooaaaaaaad the booooooaaaaat to travel the mooooooaaaaaat."
5. Now, it is time for the letterbox lesson.  Review the rules with the class first.  For example, "If there is one sound but two letters, how many boxes need to be used?  One" After reviewing the rules, go over a few examples with the students, explaining what you are doing and why.  To do this, draw letterboxes on your dry erase board so that the students can see and model examples.  For example, "Okay class, I have drawn 3 letterboxes.  I am trying to spell the word boat.  Okay, so let me break it up. b- O - t.    b- O- t.  Okay.  In my first box, I need the b sound, so I'm going to be a b in the first box.  For the second box, I need the O sound.  I can spell that with an oa.  SO, if going to be oa in the second box for my O sound.  T is my last sound.  For the last box, I'm going to put a t.  So let me but it all together.  Boat.  Great!  That's boat.  Now, you guys try a few.  First, let's get out our letters oa, t, l, d, c, s, p.  Our first word is soap (3 letterboxes).  The next word is boat (3 letterboxes).  The next word is coat (3 letterboxes).  The last word is load (3 letterboxes).  Great job class!  Now let's go back, and I'll spell the words and you guys will read the words."
6. "Now, we are going to read, Bo and Rose.
When you come across a word with the correspondence that we've learned today, I want you to write it down on your own sheet of paper.  When everyone is through reading, we can go through and see if we found all of the words."
7. To assess my students, I will create a worksheet that focuses on the new correspondence.  The students will be directed to read through the sentences, circling the words that represent our oa= /O/ correspondence.  Also, there will be another sheet with pictures and decodable words.  The students will match the correct word with the correct picture.

York, Lindsay. (2003)  Meet Lee, the Sleepy Bee.  A beginning reading design created by Lindsay York.  Auburn University, Reading Genie Website: retrieved July 7, 2003.

To return to Discoveries, click here.