Ow! That Hurts!        




 Beginning Reading

 Kristi Woods

Rationale: Children must learn how to connect letters and their phonemes in order to read. Some letters join together to form a digraph.  A digraph is composed of two letters that make up one sound. This lesson teaches about the digraph ou=/ow/. Children will become aware that the letters o and u make up the /ow/ sound in spoken and written words.  In this lesson students will practice reading and spelling words containing this digraph. Students will spell out words with the /ow/ sound during a letterbox lesson as well as stretch out the sounds in words that contain the ou=/ow/ digraph.


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

Primary paper


Dry erase board

Dry erase marker

Chart with tongue twister The owl is an outcaste written on it

Elkonin boxes for every student

Letter tiles in an envelop for each child (s, o, u, r, l, d, m, t, h, c, f, n)

Flashcards with letterbox words on them (sour, mouth, shout, cloud, found, scout, mount)



1.      Introduce the lesson by writing ou on the dry erase board. Discuss with the students that when we put o and u together, they make the /ow/ sound. In this lesson we are going to practice identifying ou in written and spoken words.

2.      Ask students: “Have you ever hit your elbow on something and said ow, that really hurt?! Say that with me, /ow/. The o and u letters paired up make this sound.


3.      Take out the poster with the tongue twister on it The owl is an outcaste. Read the tongue twister to the students and then ask them to read it aloud with you, the proud mouse shouts loudly in the house. Now I want you to stretch out the /ow/ in each word like this (model for the students). The oowwll is an oowwtcaste. How everybody do it with me, the oowwl is an oowwcaste. Good job everyone!


4.      “Students, take out your Elkonin boxes and your envelope of letter tiles that I gave you. We are now going to spell out words that have the letters o and u paired up together in them. As we use the letterboxes, we will only put one sound in each box. The letters o and u will go in one box because together they produce the sound /ow/. On the board write the word loud. Model for the students how to use the letterbox with the word loud. “I am going to use 3 letterboxes for this word. Let’s sound out the word, lll (put the l in the first box), oooowwww (put ou in the second box), ddddd (put d in the third box). Do you see how I did that? Raise your hand if you have any questions and I will come and help you.”


5.      Say, “Now I am going to show you how you can break words apart so you can read them when you see them in books (model reading vowel first, then body-coda blending on smartboard). When I come across a word I do not know in a book I look at the vowel ou in the middle first (draw attention to the ou letter tiles). Ou makes the “Owww, that hurts!” sound. Next we will ad the p to the beginning. sou…almost there. Now let’s add the nd do the end. sou-nd. Oh, sound, like I heard that loud sound.”


6.      Say, “I am going to say a word and I want you to put the correct letters in each box for each phoneme or sound you hear. I am also going to read a sentence including each word.” 

Words for students to spell:

sour, mouth, shout (show number of boxes needed-3)

That sweet tart was very sour.

My mouth hurts from the dentist.

Don’t shout in the library!

cloud, found, scout, mount (show number of boxes needed-4)

That cloud looks like a dog.

I found my missing pair of socks.

My older sister is a Girl Scout.

She has to mount the horse.


7.      Once each child has practiced the list of words, ask the class to put away their Elkonin boxes. Ask students to get into pairs. Give each pair of students flashcards with the words they just spelled out on them. “I want you to show your partner each card one at a time and they will sound out and read the word. Once your partner has gone through every word, give them the flashcards and it will be your turn to sound out each word.” Walk around the room to assist students that need help.


8.      Pass out to each student a copy of The Napping House. “We are going to read The Napping House. In this story everybody is sleeping on a very rainy and stormy night. Granny’s cozy bed is very comfy and everyone decides to join her. One by one they crawl into her bed and it slowly becomes very crowded. Do you think everyone will fit in the bed? I don’t know! To find out, you are going to have to read The Napping House. Have each student read The Napping House. Have them say the /ow/ sound to themselves whenever they come across the ou combination while they are reading.


9.      For the assessment pass out a worksheet to each student. On the worksheet there will be pictures of things that contain the /ow/ phoneme and things that do not contain this phoneme. Pictures that do contain ou (house, couch, mouse, mountain). Pictures that do not contain ou (penny, book, horse, kite). “Students, circle the pictures whose name has the /ow/ sound in it. After that, write the name of the thing in each picture (containing the /ow/ phoneme) on the line below it.” I will then go around and check each worksheet. I will ask each child to sound out the words they circled (the words containing the /ow/ phoneme).



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

 Lauren Hendriks. The Loud Trout Shouts http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/constr/hendriksbr.html

Beginning Reading Worksheet

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