Lauren Mitchum
(Beginning Reading)



Children need to know that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words in order for them to learn to read and spell words.  Short vowels are the toughest to identify.  The goal of this activity is to help the students recognize the phoneme /o/ in written and spoken words.  In this activity students will learn the phoneme /o/ by learning a meaningful representation, letter symbol, and by finding /o/ in words.


- Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights. California. 1990)

- Letterboxes

- /o/ Tongue Twister "Owen observes offenses often."

- Letter tiles: b,c,i,k,l,m,o,p,s,t,x.

- Pictures of objects: mop, box, clock, shop

- Pencils

-student assessment worksheet


1.Explain why new idea is valuable:  "Why do you think it is important for us to learn the sound /o/ as well as the letter o?"  In order to read and spell words it is important to recognize each sound in a word?  What are other reasons that recognizing the sounds in words is important?

2.Background Knowledge:  "Raise your hand if have ever been to the doctor's office and had the doctor look down your throat?  What does he tell you to say when he does this?  That's right, he tells you to open up and say /o/."  I want all of us to pretend that we are at the doctor's office and the doctor has to look in our mouths and say /o/.  (Everyone should open mouth and stick out their tongues as if the doctor was really looking to practice.)  Cue students by giving them a 1-2-3 count.

3.Okay, now we are going to try a tongue twister that involves several words with the /o/.  "Oliver observes offenses often."  Teacher says once then students repeat.  Now, every time you hear a word with the /o/ sound I want you to really stretch out the /o/ at the beginning of the words.  Let's try.  I'll model first.  "Ooooliver ooobserves ooofenses oooften."  Now everyone else try it together.  (Cue 1-2-3)

4.Now that we know hot to recognize the /o/ sound in words, lets do some practice activities.  I'm going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word you heard the /o/ sound in.  Do you hear /o/ hot or hat?  Cat or dog?  Offense or defense?  Note or Knot?  Ship or shop?  Airplane or Helicopter?  Great Job!

5.Now we are going to practice spelling and reading words by using our letterboxes.  First, I am going to ask you to make words such as stop.  You need to place each letter that represents the sound you hear in a box.  For example [Model]:  Stop- /s/ -/t/ - /o/ - /p/.  I hear the /s/ first so lets place the letter that makes the /s/ sound in the first box.  [Model] Does everyone have the letter s in the first box?  Great!  Now let's finish spelling our word.  Does everyone have /t/-/o/-/p/?  Great!  That's t, o, and p.  Now you try the following words:

[3]  lot

[3]  box

[3] mop

[4] shop

[4] clock

[4] blob

[4] slip

[4] stomp


"I will put the tiles together to make the words and I want you to read them to me.  [Teacher places s,t,o,p tiles together to make the words stop]  Now let's go through the list of words together.  I want you to read each word aloud."

6.Whole Text:

Now I want you to read Doc in the Fog aloud to me.  [Book talk]  Do you like magic?  Doc is a magician.  We have to read the book to see what magic tricks are in store for us.



Students will be assessed on recognizing /o/ in spoken words as well as during the letterbox lesson.  Students will also be given a worksheet after reading the book.  The worksheet provides pictures of different objects with items that have the /o/ sound in their name and some that do not have the /o/ sound. Teacher will assess by informal observation at each table and listening to the students reading the name of the objects. Teacher should read all the names of the objects after the students begin circling the ones that have the /o/ sound.



Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights. California. 1990)

Melanie Tew: Its obvious Your Sick, http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/tewbr.html

Heather Langley: Dr. Ollie Says Open Wide and Say /o/, http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/voyages/langleybr.html

Return to Passages Index