Singing O-O-O-O (Ah)! At the Opera!

Beginning to Read


Kathleen Griffin


Rationale:  In this lesson, students will learn to write, spell and recognize the commonly used digraph o=/o/.  This correspondence will be taught through a meaningful and engaging representation and review of the sound o=/o/ (students singing /o/ continuously like the opera and holding their hands up like opera singers), spelling words with o=/o/ in a letterbox lesson, and reading a decodable book.


Materials:  Picture of opera singer and the letter o on chart paper; tongue twister Oliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus on chart paper; word list for oral assessment of phoneme awareness; letter boxes for each student and teacher; letters for each students and teacher: [m,o,b,p,o,t,o,d,d,f,r,o,g,d,r,o,p,p,l,o,t]; word cards with MOB, POT, ODD, FROG, DROP and PLOT; book Doc in the Fog (Cushman, 1990), worksheets with pictures for assessment



1.  First, I will show the students the letter o on a piece of chart paper and say: Boys and girls, does anyone know what this letter is?  That is right, it is the letter o.  The letter O can be written in uppercase, but when it is lower case it is written as o.  It can make the long vowel sound and say its name, as o= /o/, or it can make a short vowel sound as o=/o/ like in clock.


2.  Say:  A way we can remember the sounds of the lower case o is pretending like an opera singer and sing ooooo (Sounds like ah) and raise our hands like opera singers.  I will show them a picture of an opera singer with her mouth opened wide and with the letter o drawn in it.  Say:  Now, boys and girls, everyone give it a try.  Everyone sing like opera singers and say oooo (ah). 


3.  Next, I will show the tongue twister chart.  Say: After I say this silly sentence, I want you to repeat after to me.  Oliver had an operation in October, and Oscar gave him an octopus.  Now, I want you to stretch out the o=/o/ sound and sing like opera stars with your hands up when you hear o=/o/.  Ready:  Oooooooliver had an ooooooperation in Ooooooctober, and Oooooooscar gave him an ooooooooctupus.


4.  Say:  Now students, we need to put on our listening ears and listen for the o=/o/ sounds in these words.  Call on students to answer and how they knew:  Do you hear /o/ in frog or amphibian?  Fish or octopus?  Top or bottom?  Jump or hop?  Odd or even?


5.  Now we are going to practice spelling and reading words that have o=/o/ in them.  Say:  Boys and girls, I need everyone to get their letterboxes and letter tiles out.  Everyone watch me as I show you how to spell words in the letter boxes. For this word, we are going to need 4 boxes, which means there are four sounds in this word.  One sound goes in each box.  Now, look at the word clock.  See, my mouth moves four times which tells me there are 4 sounds. Listen to all the sounds as I stretch the word out /c/ /l/ /o/ /ck/.  Now, I will match the letters to the spoken sounds.  I will put c in the first box, l in the second, o in the third and ck in the fourth because it is one sound.  Now, it is your turn.  I want you to have 3 boxes open.  Now, spell the word fog.  Repeat this with the words:  3:  mob, pot, odd  4: frog, drop, plot


6.  Say:  Now, I will show you how to read a word with o=/o/ in it.  Look at the word clock again.  I know that c says /k/, and l says /l/, so cl.  Then I know that o=/o/ and that ck says /k/.  When I put them all together, I read c-l-o-ck, clock.  Now, you all can practice reading the words we spelled in our letterboxes.  Now, it is your turn!  Students will read the words from a cue card:  MOB, POT, ODD, FROG, DROP, PLOT


7.  Now, we will read the decodable book, Doc in the Fog.  Book talk:  Doc is a wizard who changes changes things!  One day, while he was doing magic, a dark fog came around him.  Read the book to see what happens to Doc in the fog!

We will read the book aloud in small groups and each student will have an equal amount of reading, so that I can ensure they have an understanding of how to read the short o sound.  While I am having group reading time, students will be working in partners with each other saying words from a worksheet that begin with the letter o and color the pictures.  Then, they will do a worksheet that assesses their phonemic awareness of o=/o/.  They must draw lines to pictures of words that begin with o. 


8.  Then, we will take out our primary paper and write a message.  Say:  Now, I want you to write a message about what you will be doing this summer for vacation. 


Assessment:  While each student reads in the group, I will take a running record of their reading.  This way, I will be able to see their reading level and write miscues as they read.  Also, the worksheets noted above will assess the students phonemic awareness of the vowel, o=/o/.



Daughtry, Sarah.  Reading Genie Website.   Uh, Can You Repeat the Question?


Assessment worksheets:


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