Oscar the Octopus Goes to the Doctor

Beginning Reader
Amanda Shankles



In order for young readers to become better, more fluent readers, they need to be able to recognize written letter and be able to relate the sound of the spoken letter to print. This lesson will help students recognize the phoneme /o/ and use it with the written text ‘O’ by using a memorable gesture and practice with spelling in a letter box lesson.


Letter Boxes

Letters of all the words used in letter box lesson

Note cards with words used in letter box lesson

Doc in the Fog (published by Educational Insights)

Phoneme picture

Primary Paper




Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that there is a certain way our mouth moves for every word we say. Today we are going to find out how our mouth moves when we say /o/. Each student will say /o/ and watch each other to find out what our mouths look like when we say /o/.

Ask Students: Has anyone ever gone to the doctor? When the doctor looks in your mouth what does he ask you to say? Yes…./o/. That’s what the letter O says. Today when we say /o/ we are going to open our mouths really wide like the doctor is looking at our throat.

Let’s try a tongue twister to practice our /o/ sounds. “Oscar the octopus went to the doctor.” Have the class repeat 2-3 times. Now we are going to open our mouth really wide when we say /o/. Good job.

Now we are going to practice spelling words with our letter boxes. I’m going to spell the word plop. I have 4 boxes…Let’s see what letters I hear. The first letter I hear is /p/ so I am going to put a P in the first box. Next I hear /l/ so I’m going to put L in the second box. Next I hear /o/. Sounds like I’m at the doctor’s office so I’m going to use O in the third box. Last I hear /p/ again so I’m going to use another P. Now I have the word plop.

Complete the letter box lesson by having the students spell out these words: 3[pop, hit, cat, gem, hot]   4[stop, sand, plop]   5[stomp]  Say each word for the students to spell (make sure the right number of boxes are showing) Read every word spelled in the letter boxes and allow one time for them to respell if needed. If spelling still is not correct, spell it correctly for them.

Bring out the flash cards and have the students read each of the words they spelled previously in the letter box lesson.

Tell students: Now I would like for you to read this book to me. It is called Doc in the Fog. This Doc is a wizard and can turn objects into different things. What do you think he will turn things into? Let’s find out.

Have students write on primary paper a message to you telling what their favorite thing to do is.


Have students read the pseudo words that from the note cards provided. (zox, lom, fot, wod, lop) These words will assess the students to see if they understand the /o/ = o correspondence.


Ogubie, Alexis. Oscar the Octopus Operates. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/ogubiebr.html

Educational Insights (1990). Doc in the Fog.

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