Boo says, “OOOOOO!”

A Beginning Reading Lesson


Lauren Thompson

Rationale: This lesson will focus on teaching children the long vowel correspondence oo= /OO/. Children must learn how phonemes are represented in writing and what sound pronunciations correspond with those phonemes. In this lesson, children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing /OO/. They will learn a visual aid to correspond with this sound (a ghost moaning). They will also spell and read words with this phoneme using letterboxes and reading a decodable book that focuses on the  /OO/ phoneme.

Materials:  Graphic image of a ghost looking as though it is moaning; cover-up googly-eyed tool; small letterboxes (Elkonin boxes); whiteboard for demonstrating spelling; letter tiles; large cutout Elkonin boxes for teacher to tape on board; letters printed out with velcro on back for use on teacher boxes; letters needed for letter tiles and printed letters: o, o, n, n, g, s, p, c, l, d, m, b, a, l, r, z; list of spelling words on poster board to read: boo, zoo, noon, cool, mood, gloom, spoon, scoop, drool, balloon; decodable book: Pig on the Loose; and assessment worksheet.



1.)    Say: I want everyone in here to become great readers and one way to help you achieve that is to learn the special code that helps us pronounce (or sound out) words. We have already learned that our short o sounds like a yawn. Today we are going to learn what it sounds like when we put two o’s together in a word. We’re going to learn that oo =/OO/. When I hear /OO/, I think of a ghost moaning. (Show graphic image) Now we’re going to learn one way to spell /OO/. It’s not that hard so don’t worry! One way to spell this is by putting two o’s side by side in a word. (Write double o’s on board) Now when you see those two letters together, think of a little ghost saying, “Ooooooo!”

2.)    Say: I want to practice listening for /OO/ in some words before we learn how to spell it in words. When I listen for /OO/ in words, I hear /OO/ say its name and my lips make a tiny circle (demonstrate vocal gesture). This circle is smaller than the one I make when I say /O/. Listen to me say those sounds and watch for the difference in my mouth movements. I’ll demonstrate listening for the sound first. Watch me! I hear /OO/ in zoom. My mouth is making that little circle again. Did you notice it? Now let’s see if it’s in cough. I didn’t hear /OO/ say its name and my mouth didn’t make that little circle. Now it’s your turn to help me! If you hear /OO/ say its name, say, “Oooooo” like a ghost. If you don’t hear /OO/ say its name, say “No way, Jose!” Is it in moon, star, from, food, heart, mine, loop? (Have children feel for the little circle their mouths will make)

3.)    (Using teacher boxes on this step) Say: What if we wanted to spell the word scoop? "He wanted a scoop of chocolate ice cream". If we want to spell scoop using our letterboxes, first we need to figure out how many phonemes we hear in the word. I'm going to stretch out the word and see how many I hear: /s/ /c/ /OO/ /p/. I'm going to need four boxes. I heard our /OO/ sound right before the /p/ so I'm going to put our two o's in the third box. Now let's go back to the beginning of the word. What sound do we hear at the beginning? That's right! Let's put /s/ in our first box. The next one is kind of tricky. We hear the /c/ sound but do we use a c or a k? In this word we're going to use a c. Let's read what we've got so far (/s/ /c/ /OO/). We're almost finished! Who can tell me what sound comes at the end of our word? Excellent! We going to put our /p/ in the fourth box. Now I'll show you how we can read a tough word. Our word is drool. (Model word on whiteboard and have a poster of a dog drooling) Let's see where we hear the sound we've been learning about today. (Call on student or students to tell me where they hear /OO/) Now let's put together our beginning sounds /d/ and /r/. Great! Let's see if we can combine those sounds with our /OO/. We're almost there! We have /d/ in our first box, /r/ in our second box, our /OO/ in the third box, and our last box is empty! Who can raise their hand and tell me what sound comes at the end of our word? Very good! Our word ends with /l/. Let's blend our sounds together now. Excellent! Drool, like "My dog always seems to drool when he sees steak".

4.)    Say: It's time for us to use our own individual letterboxes to spell a few words. We'll start slowly so don't panic. We'll only need two boxes at first. Our first word is boo as in "Boo the Ghost loves Halloween!" What should go in the first box? (Respond to student answers) What goes in the second box? I'm going to walk around the room and check to see that everyone's spelling is on track. (Observe) You're going to need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen carefully to make sure that you include all of the sounds that you hear so that you can put them in your letterboxes. Our next word is noon. "The sun is highest in the sky around noon". Noon. (Walk around to observe progress) [Have students spell remaining words (most likely assisting them with balloon) : zoo, cool, mood, gloom, spoon, and balloon)

5.)    Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]

6.)    Say: You’ve done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /OO/: oo. Now we are going to read a book called Pig on the Loose. This story is about two children who have gotten a new pig and are excited to show it to their Aunt Sue when she comes to visit because they're sure she'll love it. The only problem is that the pig can't be found! Let’s pair up and take turns reading Pig on the Loose to find out if the pig ever gets caught! [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Pig on the Loose aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]

7.)    Say: Before we finish our lesson, I have a worksheet that I'd like for you to practice our oo = /OO/ with a worksheet. On this worksheet there are pictures that have the /OO/ sound in their spellings. Say the words out loud first if you have to so that you make sure you are including all of the sounds in the word. At the bottom of the page is a game where you must search for the words you've just spelled. If you can't find a word the way you spelled it on the top, go back and check your spelling again to be sure that you've included all of the sounds. (Collect worksheets to assess individual child progress)




Assessment worksheet:


Murray, G. (2006) Pig on the Loose, Reading Genie:


Noie Yancey, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts:


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