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The Owl went OO!

The Owl went OO!

A Beginning Reading Lesson 

By Susan Jordan


RationaleThis lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ew= /OO/. In order for children to read, they must know how to and learn to recognize the spellings of words. This lesson will help children learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling ew. The representation (of an owl- /OO/) is what the students will focus on. They will spell some words that go along with the correspondences and read words containing this correspondence in a Letterbox lesson. After they have completed the letterbox lesson, they will read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ew = /OO/.

Materials: Graphic image of owl; letter box squares; cover-up critter; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic letters for teacher: e, w, l, b, u, n, c, r, t, h, s, d, f; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: blew, nut, crew, cut, threw, set, flew, shrewd; decodable text: Pig on the Loose, and assessment worksheet.


1. Say: We all want to become good readers. In order to do that, we need to learn how to pronounce words. In previous lessons we have already learned to read words with u_e, like tube, and today we are going to learn about ew, like Flew, which says /OO/. When I say /OO/, I think of an owl flying in the sky saying, “OO!” [All students to see the image that goes along with the focus sound].

2. Say: Now we are going to start our lesson, but first we need to learn about the spelling of /OO/ . When I listen for /OO/ in words, I hear the /OO/ sound and my lips make an o shape like this and I let the air in my throat leak out. [Make vocal gesture for /OO/.] I will begin by showing you first: flew. I heard ew say its name and I felt my lips make a little o and my throat release air slowly [make a circle motion around pursed lips]. There is a /OO/ in flew. I am going to see if ew is in fled. Did you hear the owl say /OO/? I know I did not hear the owl say /OO/ and my lips didn’t make that round little o. Now you try. If you hear /OO/, "flap your arms like an owl.” If you do not hear /OO/ say, “That is not the sound.” Is it in grew, rain, chew, crew, nose, stew? [Have the students flap their arms when they hear /OO/ in a word.]


3. Say: Now we will take a look at the spelling of /OO/. One-way to spell /OO/ is with the letters ew. [Write the letters e and w on the board.] What if I want to spell the word chew? “I chew my hamburger.” Chew means to grind up in this sentence. In order for me to spell chew in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes are in the word. Lets stretch it out and count: /ch/ /ew/. I need two boxes. When you see the letters e and w, they go together in one box. I heard that /OO/ just after the /ch/, so I’m going to put an ew in the second box and the digraph ch in the first box. The word starts with /ch/, so I know I need a c and hI’m going to say the word slowly so that we can figure out the rest of the word, /ch/ /ew/. I think I heard /OO/, so I’ll put an ew right after the ch. [stretch out the word and use your finger to point to each word: /ch/ /ew/].


4. Say:  Now lets begin with our letterbox lesson, since we have identified what we are going to be focusing on. I am going to have you start out with an easy two boxes for sew. To sew is the act of stitching things together, “I began to sew a pair of socks.” What should go in the first box? s. What goes in the second box? Could silent ew? Did you remember to put those two letters together? Write the word on the board. Check your spelling. Use what you have been taught and make sure that you try to the best of your abilities. For the next word, you are going to need three letterboxes. Listen to all of the sound and focus on the first one to figure out what goes in the first box. Then listen for /OO/ and do not forget what we said, you need to put the ew together in one box. The word is: blew, I have a stuffy nose today, so I blew my nose; blew. [Children will spell the word.] Did you spell it correctly? Lets look and see how each one of you did. I will spell the word on the board:

 b l ew

Did you spelled it the same way? How about a review word set; The girl set the bowl on the table. Now lets take a look at another with three box /OO/ word: crew; I need a crew to help me move. Lets try another review word cut; I have a cut on my leg. Next word. I would like for you to listen to see if this word has /OO/ in it before you spell it: threw; He threw the ball. Can you locate the sound /OO/? Yes, now I would like for you to spell the word. Did you remember to spell /th/ with a th? One more three boxes: nut; I gave the squirrel a nut. Now let’s try one 4 box word: shrewd; I gave a shrewd look, before I did something bad. Do you remember what we did with the th? Good job, the th goes in the same box. Should the sh be put in the same box? Correct. Let's do one more word: knew; I knew that I would get cake on my birthday.Who remembers out rules? That is right; we have to remember to stretch it out each sound to be able to spell difficult or tricky words.

 5. Say: Now lets go over how you can spell words one more time. Write the word blew on the board. To begin, lets see if there is an ew on the end. There are the letters ew, so it must say /OO/. I think that we should use a cover-up. I will cover up part of the word, so that we can focus on the beginning part of the word. Cover every letter but b. B says /b/. Cover everything but l. L says /l/. Uncover and blend /b/ /l/ = /bl/. Now I’m going to blend that with /OO/ = /blOO/. Blew; that’s it. Ok I want everyone to speak the word at the same time. The children will read all of the words together. Have the students read the words that have been practiced and spelled.










6. Say: Great job reading words with our new spelling for /OO/: ew. Now we are going to read a book called Pig on the Loose. This is a story of a boy named Tim and a girl named Jan who have a pet pig named Slim. Tim and Jan’s aunt is coming to stay with them, while their parents go on a crews. The children go to show their aunt, Slim, but he is not there. Let’s pair up and take turns reading Pig on the Loose to find out what the happened to Slim. Children will be paired up and will talk turns reading pages. The teacher will listen in on all of the students and make sure that they are on track depending on his or her reading levels. Remind the students to always make sure and talk before you turn.

 7. Say: Did you like that story? That was a great story. What happened to Slim? Right, he had snuck out of his cage and into the house. Who found Slim? Right, Tim and Jan’s dad. How did Slim get out of his pen? Right, a screw had come loose. Before we are done with our lesson for today that is about one way to spell ew =/OO/,  I want you to work a worksheet. For the worksheet, you need to use the fill in the correct words, in each sentence. You need to look in the word bank, and decide which ew word fits best in the specific sentences. Make sure you follow the steps that we have been working with today. First, reading all the words, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. The worksheets will be taken up to evaluate individual child progress.



-Pig on the Loose: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html


-Cloze the Gap! (ew) Worksheet:



-Cathryn Albright "Letters on the Loose"

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