Oscar says /o/


Beginning Reading

Erin Taylor


Rational:  In order to read and write students must learn that letters represent phonemes in written words.  Before students can recognize the correspondences of the letters and phonemes, they need to learn the phonemes first.  The short vowel sounds can be hard to identify so in this lesson students will be working to identify /o/, the short o sound.  Students will work on identifying /o/ in written and spoken words through reading and writing.


- Chart with "Oscar the octopus operated in October."

- Chart with "pot, ran, bed, stop, clog, clap, frost, strong"

Each student will need the following…

- In the Big Top. (1990). Educational Insights.

- Elkonin Letterboxes

- Letter manipulatives [p, o, t, r, a, n, b, e, d, s, c, l, g, f]

- Pseudoword index cards, [pog, lod, yot, mos, zom]



1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that today we will learn that o=/o/ and that they will be able to recognize and read words with /o/.

2. Ask the students:  Have you ever been to the doctor and the doctor needed to look in your throat?  Well when the doctor has to look in your throat, you open up and say /o/.  Now let's all practice saying.

3. Now we're going to use /o/ in our tongue twister, "Oscar the octopus operated in October."  I'll say it once first and then we'll say it together 2 more times.  Now we're going to stretch out the /o/ sound at the beginning of the words in the tongue twister. "Oooscar the ooooctopus oooperated in Ooooctober."

4.  Now let's find /o/ in some words.  Ask students:  Do you hear /o/ in: rod or red?  jog or jug? mob or map?

5. Letterbox Lesson with /o/.  Pass out letterboxes and letters to each student. Model to students how to hear each sound heard when saying a word using "strong."  Say: There are 5 sounds in the word strong so that's why I have 5 boxes.  When I say strong, the first sound I hear is /s/ so an "s" goes in the first box.  Then I hear /t/ for a "t" in the second box, then /r/ for an "r" in the third box.  Now I’m going to say it again to see what else I hear, "ssstttrrrooong".  There's our /o/ sound we were looking for so an "o" goes in the fourth box. .  And our last sound in made by letters "ng" so those go in our fifth box.  Now I want you all to try to spell the words that I am going to say.  I'll tell you how many sounds you will hear so you know how many boxes you will need.

LBL words: [3-pot, ran, bed, 4-stop, clog, clap 5-frost, strong]

After all words have been spelled, have students read the words off the chart on the board.

6.  Students will now practice reading their new correspondence o=/o/.  Say:  Roz, Tod, Rob, Tom, Pop, and Mom are all sitting in a car but they all have certain things they need to bring with them on their ride.  Now six people are a lot of people to sit in one car, so we will have to read In the Big Top to find out if all six can fit with their specials items. 

Assessment:  Students will read pseudowords words from note cards.  The words will be pog, lod, yot, mos, and zom.



Montiel, Frazier. Opera Singer /o/ http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/montielbr.html

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