Boggy Blob

Beginning Reading Design
Rebecca Bracken

Rationale:  The goal of this lesson is for students to understand how to recognize the o=/o/ correspondence and apply their knowledge to reading words. This lesson will help students form a relationship with the phoneme correspondence through learning a gesture for the o=/o/ correspondence, finding o=/o/ vocal gesture in many words,  practicing with guidance writing the letter o,  and reading a short o sound decodable text. The teacher will provide explicit instruction and modeling for how to find the short o sound, how to read it in a word, and how to print it.

Model, Review, Explain:

        A.) “When we read and write it is like we are being detectives who break and use a secret code. Today, we are going to be learning about how to break this code and read words. We are going to investigate the vowel sound /o/ that we see and hear in the word Octopus, /o/. Can you say /o/..? ”

        B.) “The first sound in the word Octopus is /o/.” (Repeat the word Octopus by emphasizing the initial /o/ sound and write the word Octopus on the board.)

C.) “When we make the /o/ sound our mouths act surprised because we have to open our mouths really wide. Our mouths even make the shape of an o.  Let’s pretend we are trick-or-treating and we just get surprised by someone dressed up like a blob. Let’s all make the /o/ sound.  Now, when I am reading and listening I can test words to see if they have the /o/ sound.  All I have to do is stretch the word out like this, BLLLOOOB.  Do you hear it?  Yep, there it is /o/ blooooooob.

D.)    Now we are going to see how the letter O makes the /o/ sound in words.”

Phoneme Gesture:

            A.)  “Every time we find the letter O saying /o/, we are going to act like we are surprised.  Let’s try it.  Do you hear /o/ in hot or cold (model stretching out sounds--hoooot), top or bottom, frog or toad, dock or boat?

Tongue Twister:

          A.) I am going to read a tongue twister to you and I want you to make the surprised /o/ face when you hear it. (Read slowly and stretch out the /o/ sound).

Wallach and Wallach  Tongue Twister:  Oliver had an operation in October and Oscar gave him an octopus.

“Now let’s all read it together and make out surprised face when we come to the /o/ sound” (point to words as class says the tongue twister aloud).

Guided Printing Practice:

A.)         “Now that we know how /o/ sounds, let’s practice writing it.” (Pass out primary paper and a pencil to each studen0t.

B.)      “This is the letter O. It makes the /o / sound like in the word drop. This is how you write the letter O. Start at the roof, the top line. Then draw a circle around to the bottom line and then back up and around to the top. The letter O is just like a circle. Let’s practice making capital and lower case o’s.”(Model on board)  The teacher goes around checking and making sure the students understand the printing practice, if not she gives students more direct instruction. 


A.)        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 bog. I will use three boxes because bog has three sounds. The first sound I hear is /b/. I will place the letter b in the first box (model). It helps me when I say the word again slowly  to myself, bog. 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). The last sound I hear is /g/. I will place the g in the third box (model on board). I spelled the word bog. Now we are going to try some more words with /o/.”

B.)         Then give the following words: hot, pop, dog (3), flop, stop, frog (4), and blond (5).

C).  Now let’s read some words (write the preceding words form the letterbox lesson on the board and also a few more(rod, smog, cop) to check the students’ decoding strategies

Whole Text:

A.)   Read the decodable book In the Big Top. Have the students read quietly to themselves and then take turns reading in pairs.

B.)   Then the teacher reads the story a third time. As the story is read, have the students make the surprised gesture when they hear a o=/o/ word.

C.)   After reading, ask the students to tell you some of the /o/ words they heard in the story and write them on the board.

D.)   Then have the students draw a picture of their favorite surprise and then write about it. Encourage them to use some of the words we put up on the board.

Assessment :

The teacher writes the following words on the board: hot, cold, top, bottom, frog, toad, dock, boat. The students are instructed to write the words that have the /o/ sound.  Then, they pick one word with the /o/ sound to make a picture with.


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

Kathryn Boyd, Choir Singer Says . . . /o/

Wallach and Wallach, Tongue Twisters.

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