Say Ah! for the Doctor

Malissa Lopez
Beginning Reading

Like other subjects, children also need explicit instruction to learn and understand phonemes.  For children to be able to read fluently, they must be able to recognize the sounds of letters and letter recognition.  During this lesson, we will be learning o=/o/.  The children will have a meaningful representation to go along with the /o/ sound and also have extra practice with the words that contain /o/ sound through letterbox lessons as an activity.

º Poster board or chart paper with the tongue twister "Gobbling Gargoyles Gobbled Gobbling Goblins." written on it.
º The Reading Genie book A Hot Spot by Gerri Murray (Publisher Reading Genie Website)
º Letters for each student.  (The letters are b, f, g, h, j, l, (2)m, n, o, p, s, and t.)
º A worksheet with pictures of fog, Bob, Mom, hot, spot, stop, slop, pop, soft, plop, and on labeled.
º Pseudo word list for teacher (words are fom, hof, joz, boj, and kol.)


1: "We are going to learn about a letter sound that will help you spell and read more accurately.  Once you are able to recognize letter sound correspondences, you will be able to read fluently and communicate with everyone that knows the English language.  Today, we will be learning o=/o/." 

2. "Have you ever gone to the doctors office and the doctor asked you to open your mouth and say /ah/ (/o/)?  Well, the sound that you make while opening your mouth is the short o sound, o=/o/.  Can everyone make this sound for me? Good Job!  I want everyone to pretend they are in a doctor’s office.  Now open their mouths and say /ah/ (/o/).  How is your mouth shaped when you make this sound?  Your lips should not be touching." 

3. "Now I would like everyone to look at and try this tongue twister" (on chart): ‘Gobbling gargoyles gobbled gobbling goblins.'  "Now, let's say it all together.  Great!  Lets say it one more time, except this time whenever you hear a word that has the /o/ sound in it, I want you to open your mouths and act as if the doctor is looking in you mouth.  We are going to say the tongue twister one more time but this time I want you to drag out the /o/ sound from each word": ''G/o/bbling garg/o/yles g/o/bbled g/o/bbling g/ob/lins' 

4. Pass out letterbox lessons and the letters. The words that the children will spell and read are: fog, Mom, hot, job, spot, stop, slop, pop, soft, plop, on.  The students should be instructed to start with only two letterboxes showing to spell the word on.  As the phonemes increase, instruct the students to change the letterboxes accordingly.  I will begin the lesson by first modeling, how to do the letterbox lesson.  "For example class, if am trying to spell the word fog, I would use three letterboxes because I hear three different sounds in fog, /f/  /o/  /g/.  I will then put one letter, or sound, in each box.  Now, we are going to spell a few words that have the /o/ sound in them.  Go ahead and organize your letters and have two letterboxes showing.  Please spell the word on."  Check all the students’ spellings.  Continue this procedure until all the words have been spelled.  "Now, I will spell the words for you and I would like everyone to read them as a group."  Spell all the words and have the children read them.  (Scaffold students when they need help.) 
 5. "I would now like everyone to find a partner to read with.  I want everyone to take a turn reading the book to your partner.  You will read a story called A Hot Spot.  It sure is a hot day.  Tim has a hot job.  All he wants is a cool drink, but there's a pig in the way." 6. "We are going to do a fun activity. We are going to reread the book as a class. I would like everyone to stand up with your books. When you hear a word that has the /o/ sound, open your mouth and stick out your tongue like when a doctor is looking down your throat." 

7. For assessment: "I want everyone individually, to come to my desk and read me five words. These words are not real but I think you can sound them out." (Words: are fom, hof, joz, boj, and kol.) 

Return to Projects page

Reading Genie, Beginning to Read: Rub a Dub in the Tub by Darby Wallingsford:

Reading Genie, Beginning to Read: “Open Your Mouth and Say Ah!”

Reading Genie Website, Genie Books in PowerPoint: A Hot Spot by Geri Murrary