Say /o/!!!

                                                                                                       Katie Naylor


 Rationale:  Children must have phonemic awareness in order to read and spell words; that is, they must have the ability to identify phonemes or vocal gestures from words which are constructed, when they are found in their natural context ö spoken words.
Materials:  Tog the Dog (book); chalk or marker board; primary paper; pencils;  pictures of dog, cat, frog, turtle, fox, snake, mop, broom, pot, plate;  sheet with pseudo words like mod, lop, roz, tog, etc. written on it.
1. Introduce the lesson by telling the child or children, "Today we are going to talk about a new sound; the /o/ sound.  We have to open our mouths really wide to make this sound, and our mouths will make the shape of an "o," which is the letter that makes the /o/ sound.
2. Show the children the grapheme "o" by writing it up on the board, and then show them the phoneme /o/.  Ask them, "Have you ever been to the doctor for a check-up, and the doctor asks you to open your mouth really wide so he can look down your throat?  He probably asked you to say "/ooooooooooo/!"  Can you say that with me?  Open your mouth wide and make the doctor sound!  "/ooooooooooo/!"
3. "Let's say a little tongue twister to help us remember the /o/ sound.  I'll say it first, and then you say it with me.  "Ollie the Octopus ate a hot dog."  "Can you say that with me now?"  "Ollie the Octopus ate a hot dog."  "Now, let's say it one more time, but let's say it like this: OOOOOOOOllie the OOOOOOOOOOctopus ate a hooooooooooot doooooooooooog."  "This way, we can stretch out the /o/ sound.  Say it with me now!  OOOOOOOOOOOOOllie the OOOOOOOOOOctopus ate a hooooooooooot dooooooooooooog."  "Good job!"
4. "Now, I'm going to show you some pictures, and I want you to tell me what each picture is."  (Show pictures of a dog, cat, frog, turtle, fox, snake, mop,  broom, pot, plate.)  "Good!  Now, I'm going to show you the pictures again,  but this time, Iâll show you two pictures at a time, and, each pair will have one picture that makes the /o/ sound, and one that doesn't.  Raise your hand when you see the picture that makes the /o/ sound.  (Show dog and cat, frog and turtle, fox and snake, and pot and plate.)
5. "Let's practice writing the lowercase letter "o," because it is the letter that makes the /o/ sound.  I'm going to write it on the board, and you write it on your paper.  We'll start by placing our pencil a little below the fence, curve up and around to the ground, like when we make letter "c," and keep going up and around to where we started to close it up.  Now we've made the letter "o!"  See if you can practice that a few times on your paper."
6. "Now, I want to see if we can spell some words by listening to each word and deciding where we hear the /o/ sound so we'll know where to put the letter "o," and then we'll try to figure out where the other letters go.  I'll write our letters and words on the board, and you see if you can write them on your paper.  If I say the word "hop," where do we hear the /o/ sound?  H-O-P.  Is the /o/ sound the first sound we hear?  Is it the between the first and last sounds?  Is it the last sound?  Good, that's right, it's the second sound we hear.  Well, now we need a beginning and an ending sound.  H-O-P.  What was that first sound we heard?  Do you know what letter makes the /h/ sound?  You're right, it's the "h."  Now,  we have H-O, and we need our /p/ sound.  What letter makes our /p/ sound?  It is the "p!"  Great!  Now we've spelled "hop."  (Continue to do this with other words like dog, got, etc.)
7. "I'm going to read a book to you called Tog the Dog, and I want you to listen for the /o/ sound.  (Read book).  Now, I'm going to read it again, and whenever you hear a word that has the /o/ sound in it, raise your hand."  (Read the book again so the child or children can raise their hand when they hear the /o/ sound.
8. For assessment, have some pseudo words written out that contain the /o/ sound. "You've done a really good job with recognizing the /o/ sound.  The last thing we're going to do is look at this sheet where I've printed some words that aren't real words, but they have the /o/ sound in them.  I want to see if you can read them or sound them out, even though they aren't real.  (Have words like mod, lop, roz, tog, etc. written out for the child or children to decode.)
Reference:  The Reading Genie  (
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