A Phonics Lesson Plan on the Short 'O' Sound: For Early Elementary Students

A Phonics Lesson Plan on the Short 'O' Sound: For Early Elementary Students
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Short ‘O’ Sound

Learning phonics concepts is helpful for students in decoding unfamiliar words and in accurate spelling. In English, vowel sounds can be

extremely confusing, as each vowel may have so many different sounds. This lesson plan on the short ‘o’ sound provides a chance to reinforce and practice with the sound and with a simple spelling rule.


  • Students will recognize the short ‘o’ vowel sound.
  • Students will identify words containing the short ‘o’ vowel sound.
  • Students will understand the CVC (consonant vowel sound) pronunciation rule

Learning Activities–Group Learning

  • Provide a series of pictures of words with a short ‘o’ vowel sound. Ask students to identify each picture.

  • Ask students what the names have in common. Elicit that they share the same vowel sound. Help students identify the pronunciation of that sound.

  • Show students the printed names of the pictures and elicit the idea that they spelled the vowel sound with the letter ‘o.’ Identify the sound as the short ‘o’ vowel sound.

  • Provide pairs with picture cards. Ask them to sort the pictures into those with and without a short ‘o’ vowel sound. Students then glue some of the short ‘o’ pictures onto a large cutout of the letter.

  • Remind students of the CVC pronunciation rule: When a short word has only one vowel, that vowel will usually have its short sound. Provide students with a list of CVC words with the short ‘o’ sound, and ask them to sound out the words using this rule.

Learning Activities-Individual Practice

  • Show the students pictures to introduce Ollie Octopus and Ogden Ostrich. Students will write stories about the adventures of one of the characters, using at least five words with the short ‘o’ sound. Allow students to use the words from the group activities, or to work in pairs to generate a list of appropriate words. Encourage students to use as many short ‘o’ vowel sound words as possible, perhaps even with a small competition.

  • Provide copies of Ollie or Ogden to the students. The pictures should include writing lines on which children will copy their stories. After they transfer their stories, they may choose to illustrate each page, as well. They will then cut out the shapes and staple or tie them together to create a shaped book.

Extension and Enrichment

  • Pair students and allow them to read their stories to one another.

  • After sharing their stories, allow students to select one or two of their favorites. In groups, students make stick puppets and enact their favorites from the short ‘o’ adventure books.

  • Provide students with a list of CVC-patterned nonsense words with the short ‘o’ sound. Ask them to use their phonics rules to sound out those words. Allow the students to create make-believe words as well. Then let them trade lists with a partner and sound out those words.

  • With this lesson plan on the short ‘o’ sound students will not only practice phonics and spelling skills, but they will also have the chance to stretch their imaginations by writing stories


Learn other interactive phonics games that will amuse and teach your students. Check out The Starfall Store for other phonics readers.