Emergent Literacy
Open Up and Say Aaaah!
Jess Putnam

Rationale:  Before beginning to read, children must learn to identify phonemes.  Short vowels are sometimes hard for young children to recognize and understand.  So this lesson has been planned to teach children the short /o/ sound.  Students will learn to recognize /o/ in spoken words and by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then they practice finding /o/ in words.  Children will listen and look along while I read the book that has the short /o/ sound.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil; chart with ãOliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.ä; picture page with illustrations of ox, sock, girl, dog, cat, fox, mop, ham, bat, dot, log, cap; crayon; Doc in the Fog ö publisher:  Phonics Readers

1. Explain to the class that words are made up of different sounds and that sounds are represented by letters.  Model how we move our mouth to make these different sounds.  Today we are going to learn about the letter a, which sounds like /o/.
2. Ask the students:  ãHave you ever been to then dentist and he says open up and say aaah?ä  Well, when I go to the dentist I open up my mouth wide and say /o/.  Can we say /o/ together?  This is the same sound we hear in dog.  Can you hear the /o/ sound in dog?
3. Now, I am going to say on tongue twister and after I say it I want you to try it.  ãOliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.ä  Now, letâs say it again but this time I want you to stretch out the /a/ in each of the words.  ãOooliver had an Oooperation in Oooctober, and oooscar gave him an oooctpus.ä
4. Class now we are going to learn how to write the letter a, which makes the sound /o/.  So everyone take out a pencil and a piece of primary paper.  OK letâs begin·.start at the fence line.  Curve around and down and then back up, itâs like making a circle.  Now, come back down and draw a stick.  Now you have made an a.  I want to see everyoneâs a.  After I put a smiley face inside youâre a, I want you to make 5 for aâs just like it.
5. Now we will read Doc in the Fog.  Listen for the /o/ sound as we read.  While reading the book to the book to the children I will ask them to tell raise their hands and tell me some of the words they heard the /o/ sound in.  I will write the words on the board so the children are able to see the words in print.
6. Now I will call on students to answer questions.  Do you hear /o/ in sock or bell?  mob or bend? mad or sod?  Oz or ask? ox or bath?
7. For assessment, I will hand out a picture page and ask the students to color in the picture in each row where they hear the /o/ sound.

Refrence:  Eldredge, J. Loyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Brigham Young Univesity. Printice Hall, New Jersey (1995) pages 60, 61, and 184.
Reading Genie Webstie:  www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/twisters