It’s O-o-o-obvious That You’re Sick

Melanie Tew
Beginning Reading Design

Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need to know that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out those phonemes in spoken words. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they need to be able to recognize phonemes in spoken words.  Short vowels are probably the toughest phonemes to identify. This lesson will help children identify /o/ (short o). They will learn to recognize /o/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /o/ in words.

Materials: Pencil; chart with "Oliver obviously thinks the opera is optional."; Hop on Pop by Dr. Suess(Random House. New York. 1963.); Doc in the Fog (Educational Insights. California. 1990); letterboxes; letter tiles: a, b, c, d, l, m, o, p, s, t, x; pictures of objects with and without /a/: hat, mop, bag, dot, stop [sign], box, bed, knot, pot. 

Procedures: 1. Explain why new idea is valuable: “Why is it important for us to learn about the letter o and the sound /o/? It is important to be able to recognize each sound in a word so that we can read and spell the word? Why else do you think that recognizing the sounds in words is important?

2. Ask students: Raise your hand if you have ever been to the doctor before. When the doctor goes to look in your mouth, what does he say?  That’s right, he says, “Open up and say /o/.”  Let's pretend we are at the doctor’s office and he is looking in our mouths, and say /o/. [Open mouth and stick out tongue as if doctor were looking in mouth.] We say /o/ so that the doctor can examine our throat. Okay, let the doctor look in your mouth: /o/.

 3. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Oliver obviously thinks the opera is optional." Now everyone say it together. [Repeat twice more.] Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /o/ at the beginning of the words. "Oooliver ooobviously thinks the ooopera is oooptional." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “ /o/ liver /o/ bviously thinks the /o/ pera is /o/ ptional.”

4. Now we are going to do some activities with o says /o/.  I’m going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word you hear /o/ in.  If I said stop and step, which one would I hear /o/ in?  The answer would be stop.  We are going to practice identifying the /o/ sound and make words with sound /o/.

5. Okay, let’s practice.  Do you hear /o/ in: shop or ship? Hat or hot? Dog or cat? Octopus or platypus? Knot or note? Great! Now we are going to practice spelling and reading words using our letterboxes.  First I am going to ask you to make a word such as flop.  You will place each letter that represents the sound you hear in a box. Flop - /f/ /l/ /o/ /p/. I hear /f/ first, so let’s put the letter that makes the sound /f/ in the first box, f.  now let’s do the rest: /l/ /o/ /p/.  That’s l, o and p.  Now you try!

LBL words:  dot [3], box [3], cat [3], mop [3], blob [4], stop[4], clock[4], slip[4], stomp[5].

Now, I will put the words together for you, and I want you to read them to me.  [Place f,l,o,p tiles together to make the word flop.] I’ll read this one to you: this is flop.  [Teacher goes through each word from LBL and has student read each one.]

6. Whole text:  Now I’m going to read Hop on Pop and I want you to open your mouth and stick out your tongue every time you hear /o/. Now I want you to read Doc in the Fog to me (choral reading).  Doc is a magician.  Do you like magic? We’ll have to read to see what neat magic tricks Doc has in store for us.”

Assessment:  Students will be assessed on both the recognizing of /o/ in spoken words ad well as during the LBL.  Students will also be provided with a worksheet with different items and item names on it and they will match the objects to their correct names.


References: Fullilove, Casey. “Open Up and Say /o/” 2005.

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