Ou ow

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SWBAT read, sort, and write words with ou, ow, and long o.

Big Idea

Bring phonics lessons alive with a video, collaboration, and complex activities.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The Reading Foundational Skill for Phonics and Word Recognition states that students should know and apply grade level phonics skills in decoding words. In addition, RF.1.3f state that the students must learn to read words with CVe and vowel teams. The students decode words with silent e as they read the words. RF.1.2b state that students should orally produce single syllable words by blending sounds including consonant blends. Several of the words in the lesson have blends. RF.1.2c states that students should isolate and produce initial, medial vowel, and final sounds in spoken single syllable words.   I ask students to identify the sounds as they sort them. RF.1.2 d states that students should segment single syllable words into their complete sequence of individual sounds.

Lesson Overview

This lesson allows for the students to collaborate in heterogeneous groups: peanut butter jelly partner) of two or three and work toward creating words with vowel teams.  First they participate in guided practice, then they work to make the words, and last they generate sentences with the words.  Sorting and creating are two activities that require higher order thinking skills.  These activities help my students get a deeper understanding of the concept.

We also do transitions to keep the class moving. It really helps the class stay engaged for a long time.


First I put the lesson image on the board, and ask the students to tell their partner what sound they might make if they got a shot. We have all had shots, so this makes the sound relevant or familiar. So, hopefully they say, "ou" and I agree and share that we are going to learn two vowel patterns that make that sound.

I show the class a short clip about ou and ow.  I teach them the song and we do it several times. Learning should be fun, action packed, and exciting.  This song makes the lesson more upbeat.




I say I can read, write, and spell words with ou and ow. The students echo, tell a friend, and then repeat with me.  Repetition builds memory and telling a partner makes the lesson goal personal.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I give each student a word and the have to bring it up to the pocket chart and place it in the correct column.  Check out the video the students working (guided practice). Sorting is a higher order thinking skill.  The video attached shows the students dealing with the "wild card" I thry to always throw in a word that has the same spelling pattern but does not follow the rule to keep my students on their toes. This video show us my class in action:work.  I teach the class that we learn more from our mistakes than what we get right.

After each child has placed their word correctly in the chart the students work with the peanut butter jelly partner to create a sentence with one word.  These are preselected partners based on ability and communication skills.  I write a sentence that I heard one group say. This is an example of finished work

Partner Work

20 minutes

Students move to the center tables and sort a list of words by the vowel pattern.  Sorting is a higher order thinking skill.  In addition, they read the words and write them on a premade chart.  Then the students generate a sentence with one of the words.  Creating sentences is a big skill that first graders work on all year. I am sure to put a model at the small group areas so the class remembers what to do.

Student Reflection

10 minutes

I like to allow the students to practice their speaking and listening skills near the end of each lesson.  Each child presents their work at the same time.  The students formed two rows.  They face each other.  Row one read to row two.  Then they trade.  This engages every student at the same time.  It also creates an atmosphere where every child can be successful in trying to speak without the whole class staring at them.


5 minutes

I ask each student to write one word they know on a sticky note and place it on the Tweet Board.  This is the formative assessment I use to see who needs more work on the skill.  

I ask the class the echo, tell a friend, and repeat with me.  I say I can read, write, and spell words with ou and ow.  I explain to the class that this will speed up their reading fluency and allow them to concentrate more on what is happening in stories when they read.  I also explain that we will continue to use a variety of strategies to improve our phonics skills.