Long o

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SWBAT spell and read words with long o.

Big Idea

A variety of strategies are used to help students read and spell words with long o.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

Learning to decode is where students begin learning to read. In this lesson students specifically are asked to says the beginning sound, middle sound, and ending sound in several words in a word sort. Then they have to sort the vowel patterns by similar long vowel pattern and the short vowel pattern (CVC). So, this lesson is really aimed at supporting RF1.3b.  The lessons also connects to RF1.3c because the students show they know final -e and other common vowel teams for long o. We also deal with RF1.3e because the students learn about breaking two syllable words apart by finding basic patterns. Like, they may remember re- is a prefix, of that open syllables (re) have a long vowel at the end of the syllable.

Lesson Overview

The two big strategies that really seem to help my lessons flow are partner work (peanut butter jelly partners) and transition (transitions). So, I made a video about both, and you can check them out if you want.

Introductory Activity

I like to use technology in the introduction of the lesson to get my students engaged. So, we watch a long o clip from Starfall (the videos I show are number nine on the website).

I tell them that we are going to study long o and they will read, sort, write, spell, and create sentences with long o words.  Then I ask them to think of all the words that have the letter o, and we discuss them.  Then we discuss things that look like an o (like a tire, donut, cookies, etc.). This just makes learning connect to previous experiences, since they may see the letter o in the real world.

I remind them that we have been studying long and short vowels. I say, "Remember the vowels are a, e, i, o, and u."  Then the students echo which increases the number of times they hear the definition of a vowel and hopefully will help them remember what vowels are.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Basically in this section I explain short and long vowels. The class generates some words they know with long o in them. Then I add those words to a chart. Next, the students are given a word and sort it on our pocket chart by whether it has a long or short o in it. I put the long words on our long o practice sheet on index cards for the children to sort. Then we read the chart as a class all together.

  •  First of all, I go over the short vowel rules: If there is a consonant on each side of the vowel and no other vowels then the vowel is short. We discuss magic e and how it changes the vowels sound. Be sure to not drill, "when two vowels are side by side the first does the walking and the second does the talking."  This is not true so much that it is better to just explain that sometimes when two vowels are side by side the first one says its name. 
  • Second, I let them create all the words they know with long o in one minute (work sample).  They write them on their graphic organizer (long o poster).  Then we add to that list as volunteers share their responses.
  • Last, they are each given a word (long o word sort).  They have to bring their word up and place it in the pocket chart under the words with the same vowel sound and pattern. We discuss the begining sound, middle and ending sound in each word.

These are our (long o practice words). This sheet is what we actually send home and our words for the spelling test are underlined. Eventually we will not tell the students the words on our spelling test, and the tests will consist of words other than long o words.  We also want to stress that we don't just say a word and ask the student to write a memorized word from the list. The tests are a combination of fill in the blank, match similar sounds, write a sentence using the word, and pick the correct spelling type questions. It is just process of gradually releasing students to this assessment practice. 

Partner Work

10 minutes

They have to generate a sentence using any long o word. Then I explain that they will write one sentence with their partner.  Only one person writes.  They need to repeat this so they know and do not argue.  Then they need to know that the sentence can be on either person's paper.  Last they have to be told what a sentence must have to be a complete sentence.  I write it on the board as I tell them so they can reference it as they work. 

The students write their score for their self evaluation when they finish their sentences.


  • a noun- person, place, animal, or thing- 1 point
  • a verb- some kind of action- 1 point
  • a capital letter in the beginning- 1 point
  • a punctuation make in the end- . ! ? (Be sure to briefly remind them of what each mark means.)- 1 point
  • Goals 4/4_______

I also remind the class to reference the anchor chart for help with punctuation.

Class Reflection

5 minutes

So, to restate the sounds of long and short o I remind them that they are learning long o words and long o will say its name.  I say, "mirror," then they say, "Long o says its name." Next they tell their partner.  Last they repeat it with me.  Then we do the same thing with short o. "Short o says o" and the class echos. It takes a great deal of repetition to get them to hear the sounds in the words.  Remembering all of this is very new to them is important. 

Then two or three students to read their sentence to the class. The students that are listening are looking to see if the person used at least one long o word and has met the criteria in the rubric.  Now, I try to be proactive in my behavior management. I say, "Sit criss cross apple sauce pockets on the floor hands in your laps talking no more. Speak loud and enunciate your words." As for the peer feedback that the students give critiquing their partners work, it must be academic. The students are asked to tell what part they agree or disagree with and why.  


5 minutes

As my formative assessment I ask the students to write two words on a sticky note that have long o in them. As the student put their note on the Tweet Board I assess their knowledge of the skill, and I comment on what I see as they put their work up. I may say, "Are you sure "hot" has a long o?"

Last, I say, "o_e, oa, and ow say o," then they repeat.  They tell their friend and repeat it with me.  I tell them that we will continue to read words with long and short vowels.