Beginning Reading

Ashley Buckelew


As students begin to read, it is critical that they understand that each written letter is represented vocally with a speech sound.  As they gain a better understanding of corresponding graphemes and phonemes students will be on their way to becoming more fluent readers.  In this lesson, students will learn that 'o' says /o/.  Meaningful and memorable illustrations will help these students remember the short 'o' correspondence.  They will practice the correspondence with a letterbox lesson and a decodable book. This lesson will help students learn to recognize, identify, read, and spell words with short o sound, o=/o/ correspondence.



Picture of the letter o on chart paper

Tongue twister on chart paper : Oliver had an operation in October

Letter boxes for each student and teacher

Letters for each student and teacher: a,b,d,d,f,g,h,l,m,o,p,q,r,s,t

Word cards with: MOB, POT, ODD, FROG, SAT, RASH, DROP, PROM, and PLOT

Book Doc in the Fog (Cushman, 1990)

Worksheet with pictures for assessment




1) Say: "Today we are going to learn about a sound the letter 'o' makes. First you want to describe the mouth movements that are made when you say /o/. ���when we say /o/, our mouths are open in an ���o��� shape and our tongue is flat on the bottom of our mouth. Let���s say /o/ again and see if we are doing it correctly. When I say /o/ it sounds like what the doctor tells me to do so he or she can check my throat.  Let us try it; I will say it first and then we will say it together." Teacher says /o//o//o//o/. "Now everyone." Teacher and students say /o//o//o//o/.


2) Now you want to use the tongue tickler to give the children extra practice. You say the tongue tickler first exaggerating the /o/ sound and pointing to the words on the chart paper as you read. Now have the students say it with you.  Tekk the students to stretch out the/o/���s like the doctor would have us do. O-o-o-o-oliver had an o-o-o-o-operation in O-o-o-o-october.

3) Say: "Now let us see if we can hear the /o/ sound in some other words.  Each time I am going to give you a choice of two words and you can tell me in which one you hear the /o/ sound by saying the word while stretching out the /o/ like the doctor would have you do.  For example, if I said log and lag, you would say loooog.  Do you hear the /o/ sound in mop or mapBlack or blockOdd or add?"


4) Say: "Now we are going to do a letterbox lesson.  (Teacher is modeling with his or her Elkonin boxes and letter tiles on document camera.)  I am going to show you how to do one word and then you can do the rest.  The first word needs three squares.  The word is block.  /b//b//b//b/ is what 'b' says, so we will put a 'b' in the first box.  /l//l//l//l/ is what 'l' says, so we will put that in the second box.  /k//k//k//k/ is the last thing I hear but that sound is made by a 'c' and a 'k' together, so we will put them in the same box: the last one."


5) Now it is time for the students to try. Say: "The next words need three boxes.  The first is dot.  Do not forget that each sound gets its own box."  Teacher continues with other three three-phoneme words: mob, pot, and odd.  "The next words need four boxes."  Teacher continues with four-phoneme words: frog, plot, and prom.  After successful completion, teacher and students put away letter tiles and boxes.


6) Say: "Now we are going to practice reading the words we just spelled one-at-a-time."  One-at-a-time teacher writes a word on the board and allows students to read it.  The words are: mob, pot, odd, sat, frog, plot, and prom.  If students have trouble with a word, begin with the sound they know, /o/, and then blend the body and coda.


7) At this point you will have the students get with a partner to read the /o/ book, Doc in the Fog. Pass out one book per student. You should then give a book talk to get students interested in reading the story. Doc is a wizard who changes changes things!  One day, while he was doing magic, a dark fog came around him.  Read the book to see what happens to Doc in the fog! Teacher allows students to read the story and then reads the story out loud for the whole class to hear.


8) Now asses the children using the work sheet listed above. Listen for the children to make the correct sound and write the letter o correctly.







Kathleen Griffin

Singing O-O-O-O (Ah!) at the Opera!


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