Indians are coming!

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

 Leslie Rosebrough

Rationale:  After learning to recognize phonemes in spoken words, children need to develop alphabetic insight and awareness in order to identify letters that phonemes stand for in written words.  This lesson focuses helping children identify long oa=/O/ in spoken and written words.  It is very important for a beginning reader to be confident in identifying spoken and written phoneme correspondences in order to read accurately and fluently.



-         primary paper

-         pencil

-         Elkonin boxes for each child (2, 3 & 4)

-         letter tiles  a, b, c, d, f, g, k, l, o, s, t (tape oa together)

-         scotch tape

-         Book (Multiple copies of) A Toad on the Road

Indian headbands

      - Cardstock (yellow, red, orange, green)

-  Brown construction paper

-  Black marker

-  Scissors

-  glue

-  stapler



  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining the importance of recognizing letters in written words and their sounds.  "Today we are going to review the oa= /O/ correspondence by becoming wild Indians.  But, you have to listen very closely."
  2. Ask students:  "Have you ever seen a movie where people are sitting around a campfire and off in the distance you can hear Indians?  Does anyone know what wild Indians sound like?  Now, I have never been to the jungle and actually heard Indians, but I know that they do this: O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O (hit mouth with hand).  Now, I want everyone to pretend that we are wild Indians dancing around a campfire.  On the count of three, I want us all to make this noise: O-O-O-O-O-O. One, two, three O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O."  What sound do you hear?  Today, we are going to learn that oa=/O/.  You see the letters oa together to make the /O/ sound in words like: coat, moan and soap.  I want you to listen for some other words that have the /O/ sound and be paying attention to written words that have the oa=/O/."
  3. "Let’s try a tongue twister.   Write on the board: Old Omer only eats oats.

I want everyone to say this three times slow together.  Now, I want us to say it three       times a little faster.  Great Job! This time, I want everyone to say it and hold out the   /O/ sound.  O-o-o-o-o-l-l-l-l-d-d-d-d O-O-O-O-m-m-m-e-e-e-r-r-r o-o-o-n-n-n-l-l-l-y-y-y e-e-e-a-a-a-t-t-t-s-s-s o-o-o-a-a-a-t-t-t-s-s-s. Excellent job!  What were the words with /O/ in them?"

4.  "I want everyone to take their primary paper and pencil out of their desk.  We are going to write o and a together.  I want you to start at the fence and make a circle whose bottom touches the sidewalk. Right next to it, start at the fence and make the letter c.  Bring your pencil back up to the fence and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk that closes up the c. I want you to keep writing oa across your page.  I am going to walk around to make sure that everyone is writing these letters correctly.

      "Excellent job!"

  1. "Pull out your letterboxes and letters and set them on top of your desk.  We will use what we have learned today about the oa=/O/ sound to spell words. I want everyone to pull out the letters a, b, c, d, f, g, k, l, m, n, o, p, s, t (Write letters on the board).  "To begin, we are going to review our short o=/o/ words.  What does short /o/ sound like? Write the word cold on the board.  “Fold out three letterboxes. Fill in the word mop." Have everyone say the word. “How did you spell the word mop?" Provide other short o=/o/ review words: cold, long and sold. “Great Job!” Now, I am going to put a piece of tape on your desk and I want you to tape the letter o and the letter a together with the o in front like we have learned. Alright, raise your hand if you are not ready.  Everyone fold your letterboxes to where only two are showing.  Spell the word oak. Now because the o and the a are taped together, they go in one box together.” After it looks like everyone has finished, draw two boxes on the board to show correct answer.  Have the class say the word out loud.  "Now, I want you to fold out another box."  Provide the words: toad, goat, soak.  Walk around and make sure children are spelling words correctly.  Draw amount of letterboxes on the board and fill in the answers after each word.  Have the class say the word.  Have children fold out another letterbox and provide words: toast and float. 
     6.  Pass out book A Toad on the Road.  "I want you to read this book once through.  After you have read it once through, I want you to write down all the                   words that you found with the oa= /O/.  When you are done with that, I want you to put your head quietly down on your desk to show me that you are                       finished." 
     7. Assessment:  When child has their head down on their desk to show me that they are finished, I am going to call them up to my desk.  I will have some picture         flash cards.  I will show them a picture and have them write down the name of the picture. The pictures will all be of words we have discussed or they have seen         before: toad, goat, soap, coat, boat, coach, toast. After the child has written all the words, have them read them back to you. Send them back to their seats to         write down words off the word wall with oa= /O/ in them.

    8.  After everyone has come up to my desk for an individual assessment, as a class the children will share the words they wrote down from the story.  I will write          them on the board.

    9. Pass out materials (pre-cut) feathers and brown construction paper for headbands.  Have children cut a strip off of brown piece of construction paper.  Have         children glue three feathers on. Have each child write an oa with their black marker on middle feather. I will go around and staple headbands.  Make the                     O-O-O-O-O-O sound for review.  Everyone wear headband all day.



Schade, Susan.  A Toad on the Road. New York: Random House, 1992.
“Ooooh I get it! By Ginger Outlaw

Click to return to Inspirations