Beginning Reading Design

Frog On The Log


A Beginning Reading Lesson

By Sophie Simantel



Rationale: This lesson teaches students about the short vowel correspondence o=/o/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling o. They will learn a meaningful representation (graphic image of yawning girl says /o/ and saying Frog in the Log ), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence o=/o/.


Materials: Graphic image of girl yawning; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: s,n,g,B,b,c,k,h,d,i,c,l,I t,o,p,; list of spelling words on the board, overhead, or poster to read: strong, Bob, sock, chop, clock, crost; decodable text: In the Big Top, and assessment worksheet (link at the bottom)



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned other short vowels like a=/a/, e=/e/, i=/i/ and today we are going to learn the short o vowel o=/o/.  When I say /o/ I think of two things, I think of a boy or girl yawning making the shape of an o with his/her mouth (show graphic image) and I think of the little saying Frog on the Log (write the saying on the board).

2. Say: Before we learn the spelling of /o/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /o/ in words, I hear o sound like a long yawn and my mouth opens big like I am yawning. (Make vocal gesture for /o/.) I’ll show you first: sock. I heard the frog on the log o and my mouth made the shape of a large yawn. There is a short /o/ right in the middle of the word sock. Now I am going to see if there is a short /o/ in sack. Hmmm I didn’t hear the frog on the log o and my mouth didn’t make a yawning shape. Now you try. If you hear /o/ say, “Frog on the Log.”  If you don’t hear /o/ make your hands into an X shape.  Is it in dock, set, mom, for, rain, chop, not? (have children also put their hand up to their face like a yawn when they hear /o/)

3. Say: Now let’s look at the spelling of /o/ that we’ll learn today. o=/o/. For example, what if I wanted to spell the word top?  “Your name is at  the top of the list.” To spell top in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /t/ /o/ /p/. I need 3 boxes. I heard the yawning /o/ right after /t/ so I am going to put it in the second box. Clicking clock /t/ goes in the first box and now I have /t//o/. /p/ goes in the last empty box. (point to the letters in the box when stretching out the word: /t//o//p/.)

4. Say: Now I am going to have you spell some words in the letterboxes. You will start out easy! (lay out three letterboxes) Spell the word Bob. Bob is a name. My dad’s name is Bob.” What should go in the first box? (respond to children’s answers) What goes in the second box? Did you use your frog on the log o?  I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. (observe progress.) Try another three-box word like sock. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /o/. I have lost my sock; sock. (Allow students to spell word.) Ok let’s check your work! Watch how I spell it with my letterboxes on the board: s-o-ck and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. The ck make the sound together so they go together in the box. Try another with three boxes: chop. I am going to chop down the tree; chop. (Have a volunteer spell it in your letterboxes at the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.) Now we are moving up to four letterboxes! Listen to see if the word has /o/ before you spell it: disk. Can you out this disk in the cd player? Did you hear the short /o/? Why not? Right because it’s the sticky hands /i/ and no the yawning /o/. (Volunteer spells it on the front board.) Here is another four-phoneme word. Try clock. The clock reads 2:45 pm. Now remember the boxes can have more than one letter in each. (Model on the board.) This is the last word, but we will need five boxes! The word is strong. You look very strong lifting that heavy box; strong. Remember to stretch the word out very slowly!

5. Say: Now it is time to read the words you have spelled, but first I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. (Write the word stomp on the board and model reading the word.) First, I see the vowel o and it reminds me of the frog on the log o and o=/o/. I am going to use my cover-up to get the first part. (Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.) /s//t/= /st/. Now I am going to blend that with /o/ = /sto/. Now all I need is the end part /m//p/=/mp/. /sto/+/mp/= /stomp/. Stomp, that’s it! Now it is your turn, everyone together. (Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has a turn.)

6. Say: You have done an awesome job at reading words with o=/o/. Now we are going to read a book called In the Big Top. Have you ever been to a circus before? Well this is a story about a circus crew in a hot rod car! Let’s  pair up and take turns reading to see who is in the circus crew and what they bring to the hot rod. (Students pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while the teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After, the class rereads the book aloud together and stops between pages to discuss the story.)

7. Say: That was a story with lots of things happening! Why were they all getting into the hot rod car? Right, to ride into the circus together to perform. Now we are going to finish up the lesson to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, read the short text story and follow the activities on the bottom by circle the correct words and answering the questions about the short story. Reread your answers to see if they make sense and double check that you have circled the correct words. (Collect worksheet to evaluate individual student progress.) 



Cushman, Sheila. In the Big Top. Educational Insights, 1990. Carson, CA.


Adopted from Murray, Geri. A Beginning Reading Lesson, Oh I didn’t know!

Assessment worksheet: