Melanee Erwin
Emergent Literacy

Open Wide and Say AHH!

Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words.  Before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize phonemes.  Of all the phonemes, short vowels are probably the toughest to identify.  This lesson will help children identify /o/ (short o), one of the short vowels.  They will learn to recognize /o/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /o/ in words.

Materials: Chart with tongue twister: ãOliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.ä
In the Big Top (Educational Insights)
Primary paper and pencils
Drawing paper and crayons
Tongue depressors
Picture page with frog, cat, top, sun, pig, and sock.

 1. Introduce the lesson by telling students that sounds make up words.  To learn how to read we learn the sound that matches each letter. ãToday we will work on /o/.  By the end of this lesson, you will be able to recognize /o/ in many words.ä
 2. Ask the students what sound they make when they go to the doctor and he says Îopen wideâ.  Have the students pretend to be at the doctor and say Î/o/â.  Tell the students that /o/ is the sound we will work on today, the short o.
 3. Introduce the tongue twister.  Letâs try a tongue twister with short o.  (Show chart.) ÎOliver had an operation in October and Oscar gave him an octopus.â  ãI will say it first and then you repeat it.  Good job.  This time say the words with the /o/ sound louder than the other words.ä
 4. Have the students get out their primary paper and pencil.  ãWe can use the letter o to spell /o/.  Letâs write it together.  First start at the fence line, curve down to the sidewalk without picking up your pencil curve back up to the fence line where you started.  Now you try it.  When you have written an o, raise your hand.  After I put a smile on your paper, write a row of oâs just like it.  When you see the letter o by itself in a word, thatâs the signal to say /o/.ä
 5. Call on students to ask how they knew:  ãDo you hear /o/ in log or bad?
hog or pig? pot or pin? mop or mud?ä
 6. Read In the Big Top and talk about the story.  Tell the students not to put the tongue depressors in their mouths.  Read again and have students raise their tongue depressors when they hear words with /o/.    Have each student draw a big top and write a message about it using invented spelling.  Display the childrenâs work.
 7. For assessment, distribute the picture page and help students name each picture.  Ask each student to color the pictures whose name have /o/.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc.
1995. 184 (Appendix E).

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