Lesson Design: Beginning to Read
By: Kale Reeves
Open Up Wide and Say /o/
I am teaching this lesson to the students, so that they will become efficient readers and writers.  Adams says, "Perhaps the single most striking characteristic of skillful readers is the speed and effortlessness with which they breeze through text" (Adams, 1990, p. 170).  In order to become a skillful reader children must first learn to recognize the different vowel correspondences within words.  By the end of this lesson students will be able to recognize the short o vowel correspondence and use it in sentences and in speech.  Then, they can move on to learning other correspondences and build on what they already know.  It is crucial for the students to learn these vowel correspondences in order to become fluent readers.

    The materials that I need for this lesson include the following: chalkboard, chalk, short o correspondence worksheet, sets of a short o book:  In the Big Top
             Publication Info:  Cushman, Sheila (1990). In the Big Top. Educational Insights, Carson, CA.

1.)    I will begin the lesson with a review of the vowel correspondences we have studied in the past few weeks.  "CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHAT VOWEL CORRESPONDENCES WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT SO FAR?  GOOD JOB.  YES, WE HAVE LEARNED ABOUT THE SHORT A, E, AND I CORRESPONDENCES."  Have students give examples of words that contain these vowel correspondences.   "WHAT ARE SOME WORDS THAT CONTAIN THE /a/ SOUND? WHAT ABOUT THE /e/ SOUND? AND THE /i/ SOUND?"  Write these words on the board.

2.)    Explain to them that today we will learn a new vowel correspondence, which will be the short /o/ correspondence.  I will introduce the o vowel correspondence by comparing it to the sound they have to make when the doctor checks their throat.  During this time we will practice our mouth movement by saying the /o/ sound.  "TODAY WE WILL LEARN ABOUT THE SHORT O CORRESPONDENCE.  CAN ANYONE TELL ME THE SOUND THEY HAVE TO MAKE WHEN THE DOCTOR CHECKS THEIR THROAT?  YES, GOOD JOB, YOU MAKE THE /o/ SOUND.  NOW LET'S PRACTICE SAYING THE /o/ SOUND TOGETHER. (students say the /o/ sound in harmony) VERY GOOD CLASS."

3.)    Now have students practice using the /o/ sound by saying this tongue twister: "Tom's dog has lots of spots."  Have students practice saying the tongue twister slowly, really stressing the /o/ sound.  Then, gradually have students pick up the speed and say it faster.

4.)     I will then read the book In the Big Top by Sheila Cushman to my students.  After we read the book together, students will then reread the book and write down all the words that contain the short o vowel correspondence.  Then, I will write these words on the board underlining the o in each word.  "I WANT EVERYONE TO REREAD THE BOOK IN THE BIG TOP AND WRITE DOWN ALL THE WORDS THAT CONTAIN THE O CORRESPONDENCE. THEN, PRACTICE SAYING THESE WORDS WITH YOUR PARTNER MAKING SURE THAT YOU ARE STRESSING THE /o/ SOUND."

5.)    Now, I will give the students examples of words that contain the short o vowel correspondence and words that do not.   In each of the pairs of words that I give them they must write down the word that contains short o correspondence.  These words include: cop or cap; mom or dad; hot or hit; frog or fun; sock or sack; lid or log; big or dog; smog or snake; rock or jack, etc.  "I AM GOING TO GIVE YOU A PAIR OF WORDS.  I WANT YOU TO WRITE DOWN THE WORD THAT CONTAINS THE /o/ SOUND IN EACH PAIR OF WORDS.  FOR EXAMPLE, DOES CAP OR COP CONTAIN THE SHORT /o/ SOUND?  WRITE THE ANSWER DOWN ON YOUR PAPER."

6.)    For assessment students will do two different worksheets on the short o correspondence.  They will practice saying the short o words with their partner. Then, I will take the worksheets up when everyone is finished.  Finally, I have a checklist with ten word pairs on it.  I will call each student back to my desk and they will take this test individually.  I will say each pair of words and ask the students to identify and write down the word that has the short /o/ sound.

    Adams, Marilyn. (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Illinois: Office of Educational Research and Improvement
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