Doctor O says ‘Say Ahhhh’


Beginning Reading

Reagan Gilbert

Rationale: In order to know how to effectively read, students must know how to decode. It is really important that children know vowel correspondences. This lesson will help students recognize, decode and understand o=/o/ vowel correspondence in spoken word. The students will use a meaningful representation in order to remember this correspondence and have a better knowledge of the correspondence when decoding. The representation will be for each student to say ahh as if they were at the doctor. In this lesson students will learn a meaningful representation, practice using the /o/ correspondence using a letterbox lesson, and fully read a book independently that focuses on the /o/ correspondence.


Picture of cartoon screaming

Dry erase board

Primary Paper

Letterboxes (One for each student)

A set of letters for each student and teacher-c,d,f,g,h,l,m,o,p,r,s,t

List of words from Letterbox Lesson- hot, bag, dog, fit, mop, frog,last, stop, fist, clock

A Hot Spot Decodable Text


Worksheet (listed at bottom of the page)



1.      Say: In order to become very good readers we must learn a secret code that will help us pronounce words. Today we’re going to focus on cracking the code for the letter o. Let’s try writing o. (Write o on dry erase board). Start just below the fence, write a letter c, then close it up! Can you write O on your primary paper for me? Very good. Sometimes the letter o makes the sound /o/ like it would sound if I was at the doctor saying ahh. Pretend like you’re at the doctor saying ahh. ‘Ahhh’ is the sound o makes sometimes. Let’s look at our letterboxes for some examples.

2.      Say: We’re going to start off by using three of our letter boxes. I’m going to take my letter o and put it in the middle box. Whenever you see o I want you to open your mouth wide like you’re at the doctor. Very good! I’m going to put a h in front of my o. Now what do we have hhhhhoooo. Now what happens if I add a t to the end. Hhhhhoooooottttt. Say it with me hhhhhhoooootttttt, “The stove was hot”!!

3.      Say: Now that everyone remembers what we say and do when we say o, I want you to tell me the sound that the letters make as I move them in the boxes. I’m going to take my o first, then I’m going to put a d in front of it. dddddoooooo.. Very good! Now what happens if I put a g at the end. Dddddoooooggggg, “There was a very big dog in my yard that I wanted to keep”! Very good! (Continue doing this with the rest of the list of your letterbox words, make sure you have the correct number of phonemes so students will know how many boxes are needed)

4.      Say: Let’s practice what we went over for our letterbox lesson. Take out your pencil and paper. When I say a word that we went over, I want you to write it down for me. You can use your letter tiles but I also want you to write it on your paper. Remember, to think about saying ‘ahhh’ at the doctor . Let’s start! Hot.  Hhhhooootttt. Very good! Now let’s try spelling dog. Dddddoooogggg. Very good! (Continue doing this with letterbox list)

5.      Say: Now I am going to hold up flashcards with the words we just learned. As I hold up the card, let’s read them aloud together as a class!

6.      Students will read A Hot Spot by themselves. Say: ;This book is about a hot day. Tim has a hot job. All he wants to do is drink a cool drink, but there’s a pig in the way! Do you think Tim will get his cool drink? Let’s read to find out’. The teacher will go around and listen and make miscue notes for each child.

7.      While I listen to students read, other students will be working on a worksheet where they will be asked to circle the picture that represents the /o/ sound. They must circle the picture in which they hear the “scary o” sound.


I will assess students by looking at the miscue notes from their reading of A Hot Spot. This will help me understand if they understood the vowel correspondence. I will also assess student by looking if they circled the correct pictures in the worksheet which they have to circle which item makes the short o sound.


Wilson, Jessica. “ Say ‘Ahhhh!’” Says the Doctor:

Murray, G. (2004) A Hot Spot. Reading Genie:


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