O-O-O-O-O, I get it!

Beginning Reading

Audrey Stockdale


Rationale:   To learn to read words, children need to know the speech sounds associated with written letters in words. They also need to know how to put those sounds together to form a pronounceable words. Finally, children need to recognize words rapidly. (Beck, 25) The graphemes o_e sometimes stand for the sound /O/. This lesson will help children identify the long O sound, /O/, in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, practicing the /O/ mouth moves, and finally practice finding /O/ in both written and spoken words.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil, chart with tongue twister “Rose ran alone back home.”, Elkonin boxes for each student, ziplock bag with the letters a, b, c, d, e, e, f, i, k, l, n, o, r, s, t, Large Elkonin letterboxes with Velcro/tape in the center of each box for the teacher,the following letters with Velcro/tape on the back for the teacher (letters should be large enough for all students to see:a, b, c, d, e, e, h, i, k, l, n, o, r, s, t,  Markers/chalk for white board/chalkboard, List of words separated by the number of phonemes for the teacher,

2- each, see

3-  rose, poke, take, bone,  rake, dome

4- alone

5- stroke

List of words spelled for each student to pronounce: (words should be in different order than they were previously) stroke, rake, dome, rose, see, alone, each, take, bone, poke

Flashcards of the following words: smoke, dive, peak, mop, shoe, plop, stone, spoke, Lists of words that are on the flashcards for assessment (one for each student), decodable book Bo and Rose for each student.



1. Before beginning the lesson, it would be a good idea to review another long vowel that illustrates the same pattern like i_e.  Do you remember when we saw words that contained i_e? What was special about this pattern? Allow for student responses. If no students respond, say how about I_e says /I/ and the e is silent? Remember that? What are some words that have I_e? Can anyone tell me? Call on students for responses. Responses could include bike, side, etc. Let’s see if I hear the /I/ sound in some words. Let’s see… ride. Rrrrrr….iiiiii…..dddd… I heard the /I/ in ride. Did you? Good job!


2. After reviewing, ask the students if they have ever been stuck on a problem and finally figured it out. What did you say when you finally found the answer? Sometimes I might say Ohhhhh, I got it! Today, we are going to learn about the long o sound. We hear the /O/ in many different places. When we hear /O/ today, I want you to put your hand on your cheek and say /O/ like you just found the answer to a really hard problem. Can everyone try it with me? /O/. Terrific.


3. Okay, class just like we spelled letters with the /I/ sound in them, we are going to spell the /O/ sound the same way by adding a silent e to the end. Let’s see… if I wanted to spell the word rose, I would say the word to myself and stretch it out so I could hear each sound. Let’s see  Rrrrr-ooooo-sssssss. I heard the /O/ sound really pop out in rose, did you? If I were to write the /O/ sound on the board by itself like this, o, what sound would that make? /o/ That’s right, but if we had a silent e to the end, the o would say /O/. Now let’s add the r at the beginning and the /s/ s at the end and that says rose.


4. Let’s read our tongue twister. I will read it one time for you, then I will point to the words and we’ll read it together. Rose ran alone back home. Okay, class, you say it with me: Rose ran alone back home. Good job. Did anyone hear any /O/ sounds? I did. Let’s stretch out the words with the /O/ sound like this: ROOOOOse  ran alOOOOOne back hOOOOOme. Try it with me. Terrific.


5.  Now that we’ve learned about the /O/ sound and we’ve figured out how to find it in words that we say, we’re going to see if we can spell words with the /O/ sound in them." At this time, give students their individual Elkonin boxes and plastic bags. Ask students to remove their letters from the bag and fold their Elkonin boxes so that only three of them are showing. Also, teachers can use this time to set up your letterboxes on the board.


6. Remember when I said earlier that I needed to spell the word rose and I said each sound to myself and wrote it on the board for you to see? Well, now you guys are going to do the same thing as we spell these words. In your boxes, you are going to place each individual sound not letter as I call the words to it. Since we are using our letterboxes today, the silent e that we talked about earlier can go outside your boxes because we don’t hear it. Let’s try a word together first. How about the word bone. Let’s see I hear bbb-bbb-bbbb-oooo-ooooo-nnnnnnn I hear /b/ /O/ and /n/ but if I leave the o by itself it would say /o/ so I am going to put the silent e outside the third letterbox so that o will say /O/. Bone. Does everyone see that? Do any of you have any questions? Good job, then we will move on.


7. Since everyone has their letterboxes out, let’s fold them so only two are showing. Let’s start spelling our words. Remember, we are going to place each individual sound, not each individual letter in our letterboxes. Using two letterboxes, I want you to spell the first word each. Each. Each of you are very smart. Use this time to walk around and observe students as they are spelling words. If problems are evident, model for students the correct way to find the answer.  folded to where only three are showing, I think we’re ready to begin spelling words! Remember to think about each sound that you hear and place each sound into a different letterbox. Okay, how about the word see. See. I see you.   Keep walking around students to make sure they are being successful with their spellings.  Good job. Now, we are going to use three letter boxes. Let’s spell the word poke. Poke. My mom tells me to be quiet or she will poke me. Pole. Finish the three, four, and five phoneme words the same way. Have students change the number of letterboxes at the end of each list.


8. Once all the words have been spelled, give each student a list of words. Now that we have finished spelling all of our words, we are going to read these words one at a time from top to bottom. Each time I clap, I want you to read the next word. Put your listening ears on and let’s begin. Clap and begin reading the words. Walk around and make sure all students are being successful.


9.  After reading the list, gather students together and give a book talk about Bo and Rose. Rose has a pet goat named Bo. Rose ties Bo up so he will not run away. But something bad happens. Bo chews through his rope and runs away. Will Rose ever find her pet, Bo, again? We’ll have to find out when we read Bo and Rose. Distribute class copies of the book and divide students into partners. Every time you read a word with /O/ in it I want you to point to your partner okay?


10. For assessment, allow each student to read Bo and Rose to partners and have the partners fill out assessment sheets such as I noticed you read faster, with more expression, more fluently, etc. This will be done during the 2nd reading by each student. Then, show each student flashcards with words including o_e = /O/ and previous correspondences learned. Allow the student to read each word while you check the words on a list, making note of any miscues. The word list may include words such as sop, smoke, take, sneak, mope, slope, pop, stone, and him. Words with the /O/ sound will be useful in order for students to be able to distinguish between the short and long o. (/O/ and /o/)


*Elkonin letterboxes may be made for each student by cutting cardstock paper into 4" x 4" squares and taping them together so that they can easily fold. For teacher letterboxes, ¼ of a poster board may be used for each letterbox, using the same taping method.



Beck, Isabel L. Making Sense of Phonics: The Hows and Whys. 2006.


Hollis, Karla. Uh-Oh. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/hollisbr.html


(1990) Bo and Rose. Phonics Readers Long Vowels. Educational Insights