Carry Your Own Load, Toad!

Beginning Reading Design
Lauren Lewis

Rationale: In order for children to learn how to read, they must know how to spell words.  Spelling digraphs often give children trouble, however, one way to help children avoid frustration and learn to spell them is by creating lessons that focus on digraphs themselves.  A digraph is made when two or more letters are combined to make one phoneme (sound/mouth move).  This lesson will introduce children to the vowel digraph oa=/O/.  Children will read words that contain oa digraphs.

Materials: Elkonin letter boxes, letter manipulatives, dry erase board, dry erase marker, eraser, chart paper, markers, crayons, pencils, primary paper, large white paper (to make book), tape, multiple copies of Toad Makes a Road by Marlynne Grant (2000). Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Reading Group books for listening:
1) Is Jo Home?  (1990).  Educational Insights
2) A Real Seal  (1990).  Steck-Vaughn Company
3) Sam Sheep Canât Sleep  Marlynne Grant (200).  Usborne Publishing Ltd.
Reading Group Computer Games:
1) Phonics Munchers

1) (whole class) Introduce lesson by writing the word toad on the board.  Continue with lesson explaining oa=/O/; oa is a digraph (ãvowel teamä) when written together in words; digraphs are several letters making one sound.
"Boys and girls, I have a word written on the board, has anyone seen this word before?  Tell me what the word is·okay, good try, that was  close.  This word is toad.  Doesnât something look funny in that word?!  What is funny about the word toad?  Youâre right, I hear the /t/,/O/, and /d/, but I donât hear the a anywhere in there.  The a is not heard because the a is silent.  Some times the words we hear and read have letters in them that are silent.  In our case, the letter o and the letter a are next to each other and they only make one sound (/O/).  When two vowels are squeezed together (like o and a) between two consonants (like t and d), they make one sound (/O/).  In the word toad, do the o and a together make a long or short O sound?  Thatâs right, they make the long O sound.
2) Explain oa=/O/ and tongue twister. (on chart paper)
"Okay, letâs see how we can remember what sound weâll think of when we see oa together in different words.  A good way to remember is by thinking about when youâve been confused and someone finally explains to you what youâve been confused about, so that you understand.  In reply, you often say to them /OOOOOOOH/!  Does everyone understand what sound you think of when you see o and a together in words.  Letâs all try saying it, /OOOOOOH/.  Now, listen carefully as I read my tongue twister.  When you hear me say /O/, I want you to clap your hands.  MR. TOADâS COAT WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD WHEN MR. BILLY GOAT DELIVERED HIS LOAD.  Now, letâs say it all together. (teacher points to each word on chart as class responds)  Who can tell me what words in that sentence had an oa=/O/ sound? (underline words on chart)  Yes, that is exactly right·Toad, coat, road, Goat, load." (list words on board·emphasizing again, oa=/O/)
3) Shared Reading, teacher reads Toad Makes a Road and the students read along in their books.  Discuss book and add oa=/O/ words from book to list of words already on board.
"Now, I want you to think back to our story, letâs add some words that were in the book to our list that is already on the board.  Weâre thinking about words with the long O sound.  I wonder just how many will follow the oa=/O/ spelling pattern that weâve been talking about today?! --- Okay, now letâs go through and read them together.
4) Break the class into reading rotation groups---activities will vary depending on class time and classroom resources, adjust to however works best for your class.  Each group will have the same amount of time at each station, set timer and then rotate.
 Group 1: goes to listening center, listens to books on tape and follows along with book. (several different books and tapes for those that finish early, etc. Books emphasize todayâs lesson as well as previous lessons for review. Each student must listen/read book about todayâs lesson before going on to review)
 Group 2: goes to computers and plays educational games that practice skills, set by teacher. (oa=/O/)  Computer keeps track of childâs answers allowing teacher to see strengths and weaknesses.
 Group 3: does a letterbox lesson with the teacher.  Everyone is given letterboxes, teacher has one she can model with when needed.  Teacher gives students several minutes to work and then models correct answer in her boxes.  Lesson continues in this fashion moving into 3, 4 phoneme words (examples of words that could be used: oat, soap, boat, soak, road, float, croak, etc.)  After letterbox spellings, teacher writes spelled words on her dry erase board for everyone to see and read back to her.
5) "Letâs start today with two letterboxes.  I want   you all to try spelling the word oat.(depending on students, tape letters o and a together so children will see that itâs one sound). Wonderful!  Letâs move on to three letterboxes, etc. --- You all did a great job spelling those words, Iâm so proud of you.  Now, letâs see if I can spell them and you can read them too me."

*Later, during center time, teacher will have students come to her Îreading centerâ where she can do an abreviated version of a guided reading lesson, listening to students read Toad Makes a Road on their own. Teacher does a running record for assessment.

6) Come back together as class for culminating activity.  Each child will write and illustrate a story (maybe 1,2,3 sentences, depending on ability) that will then be put together to make a class book.  Each student will receive a large white piece of paper to use. (put their name on the back)  Give directions.  Each student will their read story to the class when finished.  Teacher will put all of the stories together to make a class book about oa=/O/.
"Each of you seem to have learned so much today and are becoming experts on the /O/ sound made when the letters o and a are next to each other in words.  By learning these spelling patterns, you will all be expert readers in no time!  Now, you are going to write a story and illustrate it on your big piece of white paper.  You may want to write a story about toads, or if you choose, you can write about something else that weâve talked about today·.yes, like soap, coat, boats,·  We want our stories to contain several words that follow the oa=/O/ spelling pattern.  Some children might not be experts like you, and they might need some extra practice learning that when you see o and a together in words as youâre reading, what sound is made·.yes, /OOOOOOh/!  When you have written your story, you may come and read it to the class.  After everyone has shared their stories, I will combine them into one big book, full of eighteen different stories, all containing words with oa=/O/.  Iâll keep it in the reading center so that when our memories need to be refreshed, we will have a book to help us remember what sound the two vowels, o and a, make when they are squeezed together between consonants."

7) Assessment: Teacher will see results from computer game, observe and note letterbox lesson, read childrenâs writing, and record running record results to see if the class has a full understanding of oa=/O/.

8) References:
1) Grant, M.  (2000).  Toad Makes a Road.  England: Usborne Publishing
2) ãI See A Beeä Auburn University

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