raise hand
Oh, Oh, Oh!

Hanna Taylor

Emergent Literacy

boy raising hand


In order for students to become successful readers, they must be able to make a grapheme to phoneme correspondence. To be able to write, they have to make this same correspondence in the direction of phoneme to grapheme. In this lesson, the students will learn to read and write the phoneme /O/ represented by o_e. The students will be taught to recognize the phoneme /O/ through the use of a sound with gesture and tongue twister and will do a letterbox activity as well as read pseudowords and a decodable text with the grapheme o_e.


1) Picture of child raising his hand- "oh oh oh!"- Clip Art. Boy Raising Hand. www.clipartof.com

2) Grapheme o_e written on the board

3) Chart Paper:  "I poked and joked as Jobe Drove Home"

4) Letterbox materials: lower-case letters for each student- c, d, e, h, m, n, o, p, q, r, s, t, Elkonin boxes for each student-(2 & 6) + one set for teacher

5) Cushman, Shelia. Is Jo Home? Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990.

6) Primary Paper for each student

7) Pencils; marker

8) List of pseudo words: mobe, sone, pode, crote, and chope

9) Flashcards with "Ode" "hope" "quote" "mope" "stone" "throne" "crime"


Sometimes when some of you know the answers to the questions I ask during class, you raise your hand and say "Oh! Oh! Oh! I know!" kind of like this boy in the picture. I want all of you to raise your hand like you know the answer to a question and say Oh Oh Oh! We are going to talk about that /O/ sound that you make, today. We learned earlier that to spell the sound /o/ we use the letter O, but this is a different sound. in this new sound, we open our mouth wider like we are at the doctor- /o/. One way to spell this new sound is to use the letter O to make the sound and stick the letter E on the end to remind us to say /O/ instead of /o/.

Now we will say a tongue twister—"I poked and joked as Jobe Drove Home." The tongue twister will be written on the board and after I demonstrate, the class will say the twister and exaggerate the /O/ sound. "listen to me stretch the /O/ sound out like bubble gum. "I p/OOOO/ked and j/OOOO/ked as j/OOOO/be dr/OOOO/ve h/OOO/me." The third time through, they will raise their hand (like they are anxious to answer a question) as they exaggerate the /O/ sound in the words.

Now that the students can identify the /O/ in words, we will do a letterbox lesson with o_e words. Each student will use their individual sets of pre-selected letters and their 2 & 6 square Elkonin boxes. The instructor will demonstrate the spelling and reading of the first word: joke. "I have four boxes, so I know the word 'throne' has four sounds. Listen while I sound it out slowly like I'm stretching out a piece of bubble gum. /ttthhh/ /rrrrr/ /ooooo/ /nnnnn/.  Now I'll listen for the first sound to put in the first box. /tthhh/- that is spelled with two letters- TH. /ttthh/ /rrrrr/.  I know that R makes that /rrr/ sound, so i'll put it in the next box. /Tthh/ /rrr/ /OOO/- There's that /O/ sound, so I'll use an o in the middle box. The last sound I hear is . . . /th/ /r/ /o/ /n/- N!  I will put an  N in my fourth box. That gives me /th/ /r/ /o/ /n/- THRONE, and since I know that an E on the end of the word makes the O say  /O/, i'll put the E on the outside of the last box.

Letterbox lesson:

Letters: o, d, e, h, p, q, u, t, m, s, t, n, r, c

Words: (2 phoneme) "ode", (3 phoneme) "hope", "quote", "mope", (4 phoneme) "stone", "throne", "crime"

Now the class will spell each of the words in their own boxes, and I will check each answer. If one is spelled incorrectly, I will pronounce what they have spelled and ask that they try again. Once all words have been spelled, they will read all of the words outside of their letterboxes.

I'm going to show you how to read the words. I'm looking at the word, and I see the o_e, so I know that the O is going to say its name /O/. Now I'll try adding the first letter to the /O/.

JO.  Now I'll add the K. "Joke!"

The letterbox words will be on flashcards for the students to read. I will give the students a few seconds to whisper read the word, then I will count to three and the whole class will say the word. We will do this for all of the words.

Now the students will use invented spelling to write five o_e words on a piece of primary paper. They can use words that we used in the letterbox lesson or think of new words on their own. Invented spelling is encouraged, so as long as they use o_e and the word makes sense, they are good words. 

Students will read the story Is Jo Home by Sheila Cushman, featuring o_e, with a partner. They will take turn reading page by page. "This story is about a cute little dog that has a friend named Jo. He loves to play with his friend and looks forward to it every day, but wonders if his friend will be home today. Read the story to find out if he gets to play with his friend Jo. Remember that we learned today that o_e says /O/.  What does o_e say? You will see a lot of this in this story so keep an eye out!"



For assessment, the students will be reading a list of 6 pseudowords. They will come up to me individually and read the words on the list—I will tell them that I made up these words, so they may not make sense, just pronounce them the best you can: mobe, sone, pode, crote, and chope.  With these words I will be testing their knowledge of the phoneme /O/ spelled with o_e.  I will encourage body-coda blending if their first try is unsuccessful.



Cushman, Sheila. Is Jo Home? Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990.

Dyle, Erin: Oh, Let's Go Home. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/dylebr.html (Spring 2006).

Murray, Bruce. Letterboxes. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/letbox.html.

Clip Art. Boy Raising Hand. www.clipartof.com.


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