Doctor : “Open wide and say  /o/
Brandy Thomas
Emergant Literacy

 Phonemic awareness, and alphabetic knowledge (letter recognition) are the key insights students need to learn and match phonemes to their letter spellings. Graphemes in written words map out the phonemes in spoken words. Specifically, this lesson will teach children to listen for /o/ (short o)  in spoken words, and identify “o” in written text.


 Primary paper, pencil, picture page with frog, dog, socks, log, pot, doll, hog, fox, beach, clock, bird, cat, shoes, cloth, ox, boat, knot, pop, and gum. Teachers will need a list of the written clues to help students determine what pictures represent, crayons, the book “Doc in the Fog” (Educational Insights).
   **Depending on Activity**
Activity # 1: shaving cream for desks (generic brand), hat (big enough to fit
           objects and pictures in it), and objects/pictures to represent o=/o/
Picture page can be used for ideas.
Activity # 2: construction paper, crayons/markers, yarn, scissors (teacher), need
        to know how to make pop-up books. Teacher may want to check out book
         with clues and ideas. (See attachment for pop up book instructions).
1. “Introduce lesson by explaining that writing is a secret code-the tricky part is learning what a letter stands for” (Dr. Bruce Murray).  Today we are going to learn the mouth move /o/. After a little bet of practice you will be able to recognize lots of new words.
2. Ask students: Have you ever been to a doctor that made you open your mouth real wide, like a yawn, and say /o/. That is the move we will teach our mouths today. Everyone pretend you are at the doctors and say /o/. Very Good! Now if you want to find /o/ in a word you just stretch it out and see if your mouthy opens like you are at the doctor. I’ll try Frog.  F…..r…./o/…g. I hear it right in the middle. /o/.
3. Lets try a tongue twister so we can hear /o/: “odd frogs walk on logs.”
Now lets slow it down and stretch out the sounds. Everyone needs to listen for our doctor sound.  “o…dd…k     o..n” Gread Job!
 4. (Students should take out primary paper and a pencil). We can use the letter  short/small “o” to spell /o/. Let us review by writing some letter o’s. Start below the ceiling and curve around to the floor, then curve up and around until you get back to where you started. I will walk around and look at your wonderful o’s, as soon as I draw a star on your paper I want you to do a whole row of o’s just like it. Don’t forget to put finger spaces between each one. Now when ever you see an o all by itself it means you say /o/ like you are at the doctor.
Activity # 1 or Activity # 2 should go here-choose based on your particular class.

# 1:

( teacher should explain first that any student who does not follow the rules will not be allowed to use shaving cream,
that when they want to give an answer they will just have to raise their hand.)  Teacher should give some examples to start off. Randomly choose students to answer whether they hear /o/:  in tick or tock, rock or stone, on or in. Okay, when you hear the doctor sound /o/ I want you to draw an “o" on your desk. Do not erase it until I come around and check. Do you hear /o/ in socks or shoes, put or pot, pound or knock, frog or toad?  (Teacher can also pull items out of the hat, tell the   students what  it is and go from there). Very good, you all acted very responsibly.  (Clean off desks with a paper towel).
# 2: (teachers and students should make a pop-up book together)
        Students choose an object with o=/o/ and use invented
        spelling to describe and tell about it. Find pictures or draw
        your own and make these illustrations the pop-ups.

6. Read “Doc in the Fog” and talk about story. Read it again and have
                 students raise their hands when they hear /o/. List the words they
                 choose on the board.

7. Assessment: Hand out picture page and crayons (one crayon each so they do not get off task by coloring). Go over each picture on the page. Students should color any square with the /o/ phoneme (mouth move). When finished a secret picture should appear. (Teachers can decide this, some ideas are : an “o,” or if near a holiday stick with that theme.


Adams, M.J. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print.
        MIT Press: Cambridge, 1990. pages 51-59.
Eldredge, J. Loyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Simon and
         Schuster Company: New Jersey, 1995. pages 23-34

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