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Yawning O

Yawning O

Beginning Reading Lesson

Lana Cooper


Rationale: This lesson teaches children the short vowel correspondence o=/o/. In order to develop sight words and read fluently, children must first learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson, children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words that contain the short vowel correspondence o=/o/.  Students will learn a meaningful representation (yawning child saying /o/), spell and read words containing short o in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence o=/o/.


Materials: Graphic Image of yawning girl; Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; lettertiles for teacher and each student: f, r, o, g, m, p, c, k, s, t, w, i, h, t, d, e; spelling words to display on smartboard for students to read: mop, rock, stop, wish, frost, desk, zop; decodable text: In the Big Top; short vowel assessment sheet; document camera



1.     Begin by saying, “To become fluent readers, we must continue breaking the alphabetic code. We have already learned to read the short vowels a, e, and i. Today, we are going to learn another short vowel correspondence, o=/o/. The /o/ sound makes me think of a little girl who has had a very long day at school. As the little girl crawls into her warm and cozy bed she stretches and lets out a big yawn that says /o/, /o/, /o/ before being tucked in for the night.” [show graphic image]


2.     Say: “Before we learn about the spelling of /o/, lets practice detecting the sound in some words. We are going to be listening for the sound of a yawning child, /o/ /o/ /o/.  When you say /o/ your mouth opens and your jaw drops like this. [Make vocal gesture for /o/]. Let me model for you how to detect short o in the word clock. [Repeat the word clock and listen to sounds /c/ /l/ /o/ /ck/]. Yes! I heard the yawning o in clock. I also felt my mouth open and my jaw drop. Now, let me try the word school. [Repeat the word school and listen to sounds /s//c/ /h/ /oo/ /l/]. Hmm, I didn’t hear a yawning child. My mouth did not open and my jaw did not drop either. There is no short o in school. Now you try. If you hear /o/ I want you to stretch and let out a big yawn and say, ‘/o/ /o/ /o/.’ If you don’t hear /o/ say, ‘No, no, no.’” Provide the following words to students: dog, pot, cat, watch, hop, flock. Have children point to their open mouth when they here the /o/ sound.


3.     Say: “Now we are going to look at the spelling of /o/. When we see the letter o we pronounce it as /o/. For example, what if I try to spell the word frog.  ‘The frog sat on a lily pad.’ To spell frog using my letterboxes, I first need to determine the number of phonemes. To determine the number of phonemes, I am going to stretch out the word: /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/. I counted four phonemes, so I will need four letterboxes. [Open up four letterboxes]. I heard the yawning o just before the /g/ so I am going to place an o in the next to last box. The word begins with /f/, so I am going to place an f in the first box. Next, I hear a growling r, so I am going to put an r in the next box. So far I have /f/ /r/ /o/. Now all I’m missing is /g/ which is made by the letter g. So, g goes in the last box! [Sound out word once more]. /f/ /r/ /o/ /g/…frog!”











4.     Say: “Now I want you to spell some words using our letterboxes. Let’s start with an easy one that only requires three boxes: mop. A mop is something we clean the floors with. My mom had to mop the kitchen floor; mop. What letter should we place in the first box? [Respond to students’ answers]. What letter goes in the next box? How about the last box? Did everyone use yawning o? I am going to come by and check your spellings. [Walk around room and observe progress]. Now, let’s try another three letterbox word. This time I want you to spell rock. I tripped over the big rock; rock.  Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for your yawning o. Here’s a hint, the last box may contain more than one letter. [Walk around room and observe progress].  Let’s check our work. Watch how I use my letterboxes to spell rock: r-o-c-k [display word in letterboxes using document camera]. Give me a thumb up if you spelled it the same way. [Allow for response]. Great job! The next word is wish; when I blew out the candles on my cake, I made a wish. Be careful, this word may contain a different short vowel! [Allow time for students to spell word].  Did you need a yawning o? [Allow for response]. What short vowel did you use? [Allow for response]. That’s right! We used icky I to spell wish. [Volunteer spells word under document camera].  Now, let’s try a word with four letterboxes: stop; the car came to a halt at the stop sign. [Have a volunteer spell the word under the document camera]. Next, I want you to spell desk. The student is sitting in his desk; desk. [Have a volunteer spell word under document camera]. Let’s finish up with a challenge word. This time I want you to use five boxes to spell the word frost; there was frost on the ground; frost. Stretch out the sounds to help spell this tough word! [Have volunteer spell word under document camera so each student may check his or her spelling.]"


5.     Say: “Now, we are going to read the words we have spelled, but before we begin let me model how I would read a tough word. [Use letter tiles to model reading the word frost with body-coda blending. Model under document camera]. First, I see our yawning o.  [Move o letter tile to center of page]. Remember our yawning o says /o/. Now, let’s assemble the body by blending together f-r-o . [Move lettertiles f and r in front of o]. /f/ /r/ /o/- fro. Lastly, let’s blend the coda, by adding s-t. [Move lettertiles s and t]. /s/ /t/- st. Now let’s blend the word together. Fro-st, frost! Now, let’s all read this word together- frost.” [Display the following words under document camera one at a time: mop, rock, stop, wish, desk, frost, and zop. Have students read each word in unison. Then, call on individuals to read a word from the list. Allow each student to have a turn.]


6.     Say: “Everyone has done a great job spelling and reading words with our new correspondence yawning o. Now, we are going to use what we have learned to read a new book called In the Big Top. In the Big Top is about a family who performs under a big top. Do you know what a big top is? [Allow for response]. A big top is a circus tent. Has anyone ever been to a circus? [Allow for response]. Let’s pair up and take turns reading to find out what this family does in the big top!” [Pair up students. Have students take turns reading alternate pages. Walk around the room and monitor students’ progress. After individual paired reading, reread In the Big Top as a class making sure to “talk before you turn.”]


7.     Say: “As we finish up the lesson, I am going to give everyone a worksheet. [Distribute worksheets]. On this worksheet, you will see a word bank with several short o words in it. You will also notice several pictures. Below each picture is a blank. Your job is to read the short vowel word then write it under the correct picture.” [Collect the worksheets to evaluate individual student progress.]


Anderson, Sydney. Reading Genie Website. “Say /o/ for the Doctor.” http://www.auburn.edu/%7Esma0008/andersonbr.htm

 Cushman, Sheila. (1990). Decodable book:  In the Big Top.  Educational Insights.  Carson City, CA

 Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie Website. “The Letterbox Lesson.” http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/letbox.html

 Murray, Geri. Reading Genie Website. "Oh, I didn’t know!" http://www.auburn.edu/~murrag1/BRMurrayG.htm

 Sherrell, Heather. Reading Genie Website. “O, O, O, at the Doctor.” http://auburn.edu/%7Ehns0006/sherrellbrl.htm

“Short Vowel Worksheet, Short o.” Teachers Pay Teachers. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/short-vowel-worksheet-short-o-56766

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