Opera Singers

Emergent Literacy

Madelyn Wright




Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with Oscar’s otter hopped and flopped on the ottoman  ; drawing paper and crayons; Doc In The Fog(Educational Insights); picture page with mop,pot, dog, log, fog, sock, frog, moth, and dolpin, (Enchantedlearning.com hand out).

Procedures 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /o/.  At first /o/ will seem hidden in words, but as you get to know it, you'll be able to spot /o/ in all kinds of words.

2. Ask students:  Have you ever heard an opera singer sing /o/? That's the mouth move we're looking for in words. Let's pretend to sing /o/ like an opera singer would.  [Raise your arm into the air as you sing] 

3. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. Oscar’s otter hopped and flopped on the ottoman Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /o/ at the beginning of the words. Oooscar’s oootter hoooped and floooped ooon the ooottoman. Try it again, and this time break it off the word: /o/scar’s /o/tter h/o/pped and fl/o/pped /o/n the /o/ttoman.

4. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We can use letter o  to spell /o/. Let's write it.  Start with little c.  Then close it up.  I want to see everybody's o. After I draw a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it. When you see letter o all by itself in a word, that's the signal to say /o/.

5. Let me show you how to find /o/ in the word dolphin.  I'm going to stretch dolphin out in super slow motion and listen for the opera singer.  D-d-d-o.  D-d-d-o-o-o.. There it is!  I do hear the foghorn /o/ in dolphin.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /o/ in mop or hope? Sock or soak? Dog or cat? Pot or poke? [Pass out a card to each student.] Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /o/ in some words. Raise up your opera hand if you hear /o/. Oscar’s otter hopped and flopped on the ottoman.

7. Say: Doc is a magician.  He does magic tricks.  Doc can turn almost anything into something else.  But one day when Doc makes fog will he be able to change it to something else before it all gets away? We will have to read to find out! Read Doc In The Fog and talk about the story. Read it again, and have students raise their hands when they hear words with /o/. List their words on the board. Then have each student draw a magician’s hat and write a message about it using invented spelling. Display their work.

8. For assessment, distribute the picture page and help students name each picture. Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /o/.



Murray, Bruce. Teaching Letter Recognition. http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/letters.html
Enchanted Learning Worksheet  http://www.allaboutspace.com/themes/letters/shorto.shtml