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Beginning Reading Lesson

Sad Babies Go “aaaah”

Beginning Reading

Karen Killeavy

Rationale: In order to be able to read words children need to understand and be familiar with the various sounds that make up written words. This lesson will teach students the vocal gesture used to create the sound that letter O makes in words like mop. This lesson also reviews the print makeup of the letter O. The lesson will develop the student’s awareness of o=/o/, by giving them instruction and practice on how to form the short o sound, as well as, practice reading decodable text containing the short sound. The students will receive instruction in the decoding of short o words, as well as, practice spelling the words themselves.



  Primary paper & Pencils

Book: In the Big Top (one copy per student)

 Assessment Worksheet: for Short word  

Letterboxes (for each student)



1.Introduce the lesson: “The written language is like a secret code. Today, we are going to be learning about how to break this code and read words. Today we are going to learn about the vowel sound we see and hear in the word Octopus, /o/. Can you say /o/..? ”, “The first sound in the word Octopus is /o/.” Write the word octopus on the board.

2. “Have you ever heard a baby cry?” In order to create the /o/ sound we have to open our mouths like we are making the sound a crying baby makes. Let’s pretend we are crying babies. We open are mouths and say /o/.

3.   Have the letter O written on the board, as well as, example words.

4. Now we are going to create a gesture to use each time we hear the /o/ sound. We are going to raise our fists to our eyes like we are a crying baby. Model the /o/ sound and gesture and then have the students mimic you.

5. Now we are going to learn a tongue tickler, read the tongue tickler and emphasize the /o/ sounds. “Ollie the Octopus sings opera songs.” Have the students say it with you with the hand gestures.

6. Now we are going to practice writing the letter ‘o’. Handout primary paper. Model writing an ‘o’ and explain the steps. This is the letter O. It makes the /o / sound like in the word drop. This is how you write the letter O. Start at the roof or top line. Then draw a circle around to the bottom line and then back up and around to the top. The letter O is just like a circle. Let’s practice making big ones and little ones.”

7. Next, have students take out their letter boxes and letters. “We are going to use what we just learned about the letter o to spell words. I will call out a word and you can spell it using the letterboxes. Before each word I call out I will tell you how many boxes to use. Each sound or mouth move in the word will go in a box. For example, the word I am going to spell is bop. I will use three boxes (draw three boxes on the board), because it has three sounds. The first sound I hear is /b/. I will place the letter b in the first box (model on board). Now it might help to say the word again to yourself, bop. The second sound I hear is /o/. We just learned the letter o stands for /o/, so I will place the o in the second box (model on the board). The last sound I hear is /p/. I will place the p in the third box (model on board). I spelled the word bop. Now you try.” Give the following words: hot, pop, dog (3), flop, stop, frog (4), and blond (5).

8. Read the decodable book In the Big Top. First, have the students read the book independently. Then, ask them to follow along and as they hear the /o/ sound make the gesture.  

Assessment: Pass out worksheet and Tell them to circle only the words that have the o=/o/ sound like in the word mop.






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