Optical O



Sarah Stanley


“Knowledge of letters and phonemic awareness have been found to bear a strong and direct relationship to success and ease of reading acquisition…”  (
Adams).  Students must be able to recognize letters and phonemes that make up words in order to be able to read or write.  This lesson teaches them the letter sound correspondence o=/o/.




Pipe Cleaners (2 long, 2 medium, and 2 short for each child)

Picture of glasses

Primary Paper and pencils

“David Gets in Trouble” by David Shannon





  1. Introduction:  “When we read a story we read the words that are on the page right?  Well what makes up those words?  Is it letters?  Yes!  Good job!  Today we are going to use our smart glasses to help us find certain letters.  Let’s see if today we can use those smart glasses to help us find the letter O.  Can anyone tell me what sound the letter O makes?  /o/.  That’s right!  I have a tongue twister that I want you to repeat that is going to help us remember that the letter O makes the /o/ sound.  Oliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.  That sounds funny doesn’t it?  But it will help us remember that sound.”
  2. Teach Background Knowledge:  Hold up a picture of glasses and ask them “Can anyone tell me what this is a picture of?  That’s right it is a pair of glasses!  Do you know anyone who wears glasses?  I wear them sometimes.  Glasses help people see things that they cannot normally see.  They help them pick out the small things, like certain letters in a book.  Can anyone tell me what shape they see on the glasses?  A circle?  What letter kind of looks like a circle?  O!  That’s right.  The pair of glasses has two Os in it!  Good job!”
  3. Get pointer fingers ready.  “Ok, we are going to trace an O in the air.  Can anyone show me how we would do it?  That’s right!  Just make a big circle in the air! (Model for students).  Now we are going to practice make those big Os on paper.  We are going to start at the roof and curve our way down to the ground.  Don’t lift your pencil yet.  Curve the line back up the other side and meet it back at the roof.  Good job!  You just made an O!  Remember not to go outside those lines or you might crash into the ditch or fly away!
  4. “Now you know what an O looks like so we are going to make a special pair of smart glasses.  These glasses are going to help us pick out the letter O in our story today.”  Pass out pipe cleaners to children (2 long, 2 medium, and 1 short).  Model for the children how to construct their glasses.  “Now I want you to use those smart glasses to find the letter O in our story and point to your glasses every time you see the letter.
  5. Read the title of the book “David Gets in Trouble”.  Have the children recognize which word has the letter O in it and point to their glasses when they see it.  Repeat as many times as needed.  “Ok, I’m going to read the book to you and every time you see the letter O I want you to point to your smart glasses.  Remember those glasses help you see things that you would not normally see so you are going to have to look really close!”
  6. Assessment:  Have the children walk around the room and find the letter O somewhere on the wall and tell the class how they went about finding the letter O wherever they did.




Adams, M.J. (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning
      About Print
.  Center for the study off
Reading and the Reading
      Research and
Education Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-



Shannon, David.  “David Gets In Trouble”.  Scholastic, Inc. 2002.


Boggs, Adrienne.  “O, Do You Know”.


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