Emergent Literacy Design:
to the Doctor
By: Mari Manning
Rationale: This lesson
will help children identify /o/
They will learn to recognize
/o/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a
symbol. They will then practice finding
/o/ in written words. They will use a
meaningful representation to help them read words that contain /o/. Since short vowels are tough phonemes for
young children to identify, it is important to make sure children learn
phonemes. Children need to be exposed to
different phonemes in order to read and spell, and they must recognize
the spoken context before they can recognize them in the written
context. This lesson will give children
exposure needed to identify /o/ in the spoken and written contexts.
- Chart with "Ollie the octopus opted
out of the opposites contest with the ostrich in October"
- Primary paper and pencils
- Set of cards with /o/ pictures and
words on them (dog, stop, octopus,
ostrich, mop, frog, cop, sock, hot, pot, shop, knob, clock, lock, and
rod) for tongue twister challenge
- Frog Cops by Scholastic
- Drawing paper and crayons
- Chalk and chalkboard
- Picture page with hat,
dog, bed, stop sign, octopus, mop, frog, dock, bus, ship, king, rock,
music notes (song), ball, and truck.
- Introduce the lesson by explaining
that it is hard to recognize short vowels in our spoken and written
language. "The tricky part of learning to
recognize these vowels is learning which letters stand for which mouth
moves we make as we say words. Today we
are going to work on spotting the mouth move /o/. It
may be hard for you to spot /o/ in spoken and written words at first,
but as we practice it and get to know it well, we will be able to spot
/o/ in both written and spoken words."
- Ask students: "Have
you ever been to the doctor and had to open your mouth and say /o/ as
he looked down your throat? Well, that is
the mouth move we will be looking for today. Let's
pretend to be at the doctor and open our mouths and say /o/ as he looks
down our throats (have class open mouths and say /o/).
We say /o/ to open our throats so the doctor can look down
them and see any problems. Let's open our
throats for the doctor: /o/."
- Let's try a tongue twister (on chart). "Ollie the octopus opted out of the opposites
contest with the ostrich in October." Everyone
say it three times together (class says it together).
Now let's say it again, and this time, let's stretch the /o/
at the beginning of the words. "Ooollie
the oooctopus ooopted ooout ooof the ooopposites contest with the
ooostrich in Oooctober." Try it again, and
this time break it off the word: "/o/ llie
the /o/ ctopus /o/ pted /o/ ut /o/ f the /o/ pposites contest with the
/o/ tter in /o/ ctober."
- Have students take out primary paper
and pencil. Tell students:
"We can use the letter o
to spell /o/. Let's write it first. Start at the fence line. Draw
half a circle around to the sidewalk and another half circle back
around to the fence line. Do this without
lifting your pencil. When you finish, you
should have a circle. I want to see
After I put a smiley face on your paper, I want you to make
9 more just like it. When you see the
letter o all by itself in a
word, that's the signal to say /o/ like we've practiced.
When you make your 9 more o's,
I want to hear you say /o/ as you are making them."
- Have children stand up in a circle and
get ready to play the tongue twister challenge. Have
ready-made cards with /o/ words and pictures on them, either beginning
with /o/ or have /o/ in the middle. The
first child takes the top card and looks at the picture to determine
the word (example:
dog). The second child says the first child's word
and adds a second word to it that has /o/ in it (example: dog, stop). Continue
with as many children as are participating. After
each new word, the entire class chants the chain of words thus far. Encourage the children to see how quickly they
can say or chant the words. Children can
then write down tongue twisters of their own using /o/.
The tongue twisters can be displayed in the hall or in the
- Read Frog Cops and discuss the
story. Read the story again and have
children get with a partner and shine their doctor lights down their
partner's throats while the partner opens his or her mouth to form /o/
each time they hear a word with /o/ (children can take turns). Have a child, or yourself, list those words on
the board. Then have the children draw a
frog and write a short message about it using invented spelling. These too can be displayed in the classroom or
in the hallway.
- For assessment, pass out a picture
page that contains several rows of pictures of things with /o/ and
things without /o/. Help children name
each picture just to make sure they know what it is.
Ask them to draw a box around each picture whose name has
Gaydos, Nora. Frog Cops. New
York: Scholastic. 2001.
Linse, Caroline. 20
Fun-Filled Games that Build Early Reading
Skills. New York:
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