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"Ah" says Groggy Scotty at the Doctor

“Ah,” says Groggy Scotty at the Doctor

A Beginning Reading Lesson

Lauren Mitchell 


Rationale: This lesson will teach children about the short vowel correspondence o=/o/. It is vital for children to be able to recognize phonemes that map out spellings. During this lesson, children will be able to read, spell, and recognize words that contain the correspondence o=/o/. Students will learn a meaningful visual cue, the doctor making little Scotty say ah, to help them remember the sound that the short vowel o makes. Students will also spell and read words containing the correspondence o=/o/ in a letterbox lesson and read a decodable book that’s main focus is the short vowel o.


Materials: Visual cue of the doctor making little Scotty say ah; whiteboard or smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin letterboxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: c, f, g, l, o, p, r, s, t; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: log, stab, slip, trot, soft, crop, went, and stitch; decodable text Pop Got a Hit; and assessment worksheet.



1. Say: In order for us to get really great at reading, we have to learn how to read words. We have already learned the short vowels: a=/a/, e=/e/, and i=/i/. Today we will be learning the short vowel o that is used to make the /o/ sound. When you hear the /o/ sound I want you to think about the “ah” sound that Scotty is making while visiting the doctor {show the visual cue}.

2. Before we learn the spelling of /o/, we are going to practice listening for it in words. When saying the /o/ sound in words, our mouth is open, just like Scotty has his mouth open for the doctor, and our jaw is dropped {make vocal gesture for /o/}. So when listening to the words I am going to say, I want you to repeat the word and see if your mouth is open and jaw is dropped. I’ll show you first: mop. I heard the /o/ sound and felt my mouth open and jaw drop. Therefore, there is a short o in mop. Now I’m going to see if it’s in broom. Hmm, I didn’t hear o make the /o/ sound like Scotty at the doctor’s office and my mouth was not fully open nor was my jaw dropped. Now you try. If you hear /o/ open your mouth and stick out your tongue like Scotty at the doctor’s office. If you don’t hear /o/ shut your mouth. Is it in go, stop, frog, fish, run, hop? {Have children check the position of their mouth when they feel the /o/ sound in a word} Now let’s look at the spelling of the short vowel /o/ that we are learning today. We spell /o/ with the letter o.






3. What if I want to spell the word soft? Your skin is so soft! Soft means smooth in this sentence. To spell soft in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /s/ /o/ /f/ /t/. I need 4 boxes. I heard that /o/ just before the /f/ so I’m going to put an o in the 2nd box. The word starts with /s/, that’s easy; I need s. Now it gets a little tricky, so I’m going to say it slowly, /s/ /o/ /f/ /t/. I think I heard /f/ so I’ll put a f right after the o. One more after the /f/, hmm… /s/ /o/ /f/ /t/, I think I heard /t/. {Point to letter in boxes when stretching out the word: /s/ /o/ /f/ /t/} The missing one is /t/.

Now I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. {Display poster with crop on the top and model reading the word} I’m going to start with /o/. Now I’m going to put the beginning letters with it: c-r-o, /cro/. Now I’ll blend that with the last sound /p/, /cro-p/.         Oh, crop, like “We will have a good crop if this weather keeps up.”

4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with three boxes for log. A log is a part of a tree trunk or a large branch of a tree that has fallen or been cut off.  “There was a huge log in the road.” I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. {Observe progress} You’ll need four letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sounds to spell in the first two boxes. Then, listen for /o/. Here’s the word: trot, “I will trot to the playground.” Trot. {Allow children to spell remaining words, giving sentences for each word: 4 letter boxes: [soft, crop, slip, frog], and 3 letterboxes: [sock].}

5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. {Show the words log, trot, soft, crop, slip, frog, and sock, the extra words set and prop, and the pseudoword, zock. Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.}

6. Say: You’ve done a great job at reading words with our spelling for /o/ using the letter o. Now we are going to read a book called Pop Got a Hit. This is a story of a boy name Han and his Pop. Pop and Han decide to go play baseball. Pop gets a really big bat and Han gets a really big mitt. They go running up the hill to find a place to play. Once they find their place, it is Pop’s turn to hit with his big bat. Do you think Pop will be able to hit the ball? Will Han catch it? Let’s read to find out! We are going to pair up and take turns reading Pop Got a Hit to find out if Pop hits the ball and if Han catches it!  {Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads, Pop Got a Hit chorally, stopping between page turns to discuss the story.}

7. Say: Before we finish up with our lesson about how to spell words with the correspondence o=/o/, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have to draw lines to match the word to their corresponding picture. First, try to read all of the words and then match them to their picture. Make sure to reread and check your answers once you finish! {Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.}



Esser, Sarah, Uhhh, I Don’t Know!!: http://www.auburn.edu/~sje0003/esserbr.htm


Visual Cue: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/phonpics.html


Assessment Worksheet: http://www.enchantedlearning.com/alphabet/matchwordsandpix/shorto/

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