Elizabeth Sauter
Emergent Literacy


Children need to understand letters and the sounds they make before they can learn to read and spell words. Teaching children how to read and spell involves special instruction that will stimulate their minds to put together words and phonemes. In order to properly recognize phonemes, they will need to learn them one at a time. This lesson will help children identify /OO/ (Long U). Although long vowels are easy for children to recognize, they sometimes have trouble recognizing the long U sound oo = /OO/, in words. They will learn to recognize /OO/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /OO/ in words.

Primary paper and pencil, chart with “Two new balloons flew to the moon at noon,” hot air balloon clipart on cards, hot air balloon poster, Altoona Baboona (Scholastic), picture page with, balloon, spoon, bone, tool, sun, moon, man, dog, and raccoon

1. Today we are going to learn another way /U/ can be said and read. We are going to work on spotting the mouth move /OO/ in words. It is sometimes tricky when we see words with oo = /OO/ because we think it should be said as a long or short O.  When we say words with the /OO/ our lips should push out to look like a fish.

2.   Ask students: Has your mom ever asked you to eat brussel sprouts?  If you are like me,
you probably said, “Eeew gross!”  Let’s all say it together.  We are going to look for the /OO/ mouth move in words.  I am going to say a word real slow and you tell me if you hear /OO/, the “Eeew gross sound.”  I’ll say moon, m-o-o-o-o-n.  Did you hear the /OO/ in the middle?

3. Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart).  “Two new balloons flew to the moon at noon.”  Everybody repeat after me. Now say it again, this time stretch out the /OO/ sound in the words. “Twwooo neeewww balloooons fleeewww tooo the mooooon at nooooon.”

4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil). We can use two letter “o”s to spell /OO/.  Ok, you all should know how to write an o by itself, let’s practice clustering “o”s together. Let’s review how to write them.  Start at the dotted line and draw a line around to touch the basement and then around back to the dotted line, without lifting your pencil.  Once I see how you drew the first one, I want everyone to make a row of two “o”s with a space between them.  Then when you see two “o”s next to each other in a word you will know they say, /OO/.

5. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /OO/ in noon or none?  Pool or pull?  Sun or soon?  Room or roam?  Boat or boot?

6. Read Altoona Baboona to the students.  Ask the students, “Have you ever ridden in a hot air balloon?  Well, in this book we are going to go on a hot air balloon adventure with Altoona Baboona. As you read have children hold up a picture of a hot air balloon when a word is read with the /OO/ sound.  I will read the book again and we will write the words with the /OO/ sound on a giant balloon on the board.  Have students use invented spelling to write what they would take with them on a hot air balloon ride and where they would go.

7. For assessment, pass out the picture page and help the students name each picture.  Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /OO/.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995.

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