important component of learning how to read is being able to identify
words. One simple technique that teaches
children how to blend letters together in a manner that makes it easy
to decode written words is body-coda blending.
This lesson will focus on words with the ou phoneme. Students will learn to use body-coda blending
so that they can easily decode less familiar words.
Then, they will practice this skill during a
Letter Box Lesson.
Class set of plastic or laminated paper
(there should be multiple copies of each letter for all students);
boxes (at least 5 boxes per student); book:
If You Take A Mouse To School by
Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond, published by Scholastic
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
that in order to read words, we first need to learn how to identify
them. One way to do this is by breaking
the words apart. Today we’re going to
practice this skill with ou words.
- Ask students: Have
you ever bumped you arm and yelled “Ou, that really hurt!”
Say that with me /ou/. Whenever
you see ou together it makes the /ou/ I heart my arm sound. Those 2 letters make up just 1 phoneme or
- Let’s try a tongue twister. “Mouse’s blouse blew over his house but with a
bounce and a pounce he caught it.” Everyone
say it 3 times together. Now say it again,
and this time, stretch the /ou/ that you hear in the words. “Mououse’s blououse blew over his hououse but
with a bouounce and a pouounce he caught it.” Try
it again and this time let’s break the part with the /ou/ off of the
rest of the word. /Mou/ se’s /blou/ se
blew over his /hou/ se but with a /bou/ nce and a /pou/ nce he caught
- [Have students take out Elkonin boxes
and the following letters: (b, c, d, e, f,
h, l, n , o, p, s, t, u). [Note: you will need the letters:
(d, n, o, r, u) so that you can model the word round on the
overhead in the next step.] The
correspondence that will be taught during this lesson is ou=/ow/. The word list, including the number of
phonemes in each word, is as follows: 2: [ouch], 3: [house,
stop], 4: [bounce, found, cloud]. Say to the students: I’m
going to tell you a word and I want you to put the appropriate letters
in the boxes for each of the phonemes or sounds that you hear. Go through the list giving a sentence with
each of the words. For example, house—I
will go to Tommy’s house after school—house. Walk
around and observe before moving on to the next word on the list.
- Once you have gone through the list of
words, have students put their Elkolin boxes away.
Say to the students: Now I’m
going to show you how to break words apart
so that you can read them when you see them in books.
(Model body-coda blending on overhead projector). Take out letters for word round.
Say to the students: Say I come
to this word in a book and don’t know how to read it.
First I look at the vowel in the middle ou
(push letters ou above the other letters). That
looks familiar, ou, oh yeah, it’s the “Ou I hurt my
arm sound.” Let’s add r
to the beginning. Rou, not
quite a word yet. Now let’s add the nd to the end. Rou-nd. Oh, round,
like I saw a big round balloon in the sky.
- Go through the word list and have
students use body-coda blending to tell you the word.
You might call on students or ask them as a group.
- Read If You Take a Mouse
to School and talk about the story. Read
it again and have the students raise their hands when they hear words
with /ou/. List their words on the
board and have them come up with more words. Have
students raise their hands and call on them to read the words using
body-coda blending. Have students pick an
ou word from the book, draw a picture and write a message using
- For assessment, the teacher can make
an ou word using letter manipulatives and have
each child use body-coda blending to read the word. [Be sure to devise a possible word list and
gather all of the letters before starting this assessment].
For more information on how to teach body-coda
refer to the Reading Genie website:
For more information on how to
teach a Letter Box Lesson
refer to the Reading Genie website:
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