This page provides information to support educators and families when teaching K-3 students about long o sound. It is designed to complement the Long O topic page on BrainPOP Jr.  

Before you begin, we recommend screening some or all of the following BrainPOP Jr. phonics movies for review: Short Vowels, Silent E, Long E, and Long A. In the Long O movie, Annie and Moby introduce the long “o” sound and explore different vowel patterns that form the sound. We suggest turning on closed captioning while watching the movie to support children’s development of word and sound recognition skills and to build phonemic awareness.

Remind children that vowels (a, e, i, o, u, and y) can have a short or long sound depending on other letters in the word. Review short vowel sounds together by writing and saying words that make each sound (e.g., cat, bed, sit, mop, tub) and encouraging children to think of more words for each short vowel sound. Repeat the exercise with the long vowel sounds, coming up with a word for each (e.g., late, seed, kite, boat, and cute).

Write the word goat on the board. Review with children that together the vowels “oa” make the long “o” sound. Together, brainstorm words that have “oa,” such as boat, road, soap, and float. Encourage children to use rhyming strategies to help them come up with words. Some children will recognize that “oa” often comes in the middle of the word. Challenge them to come up with a word in which “oa” is at the beginning, such as oat or oak.

Invite a volunteer to take off his or her shoes and socks and wiggle toes. Say the word toe aloud, exaggerating the long “o” sound. Write the word toe on the board, pointing out that the vowels “oe” together sometimes make the long “o” sound, too. Point out other words with “oe,” such as hoe, goes, and foe.

Draw a t-chart on the board. On the left side list the words hop, cod, ton, rod, not, and cop and read them aloud. Point out that all the words have the short “o” sound. In the right column, across from the word hop, write hope and say it aloud, again exaggerating the long “o” sound. Ask students what happened when you added the silent “e.” They should recognize that adding a silent final “e” changed the short “o” sound to a long “o”. Invite volunteers up to the board to change the other short “o” words into long ones by adding a final silent “e” and read them aloud.  

Show a picture of snow or point outside if there is snow. Ask students what they see. Write snow on the board and explain that sometimes “ow” makes the long “o” sound, but not always. Now ask what animal says “moo” and when they answer, write cow on the board. Students should recognize that “ow” in cow does NOT make the long “o” sound. Write other “ow” words on the board and have the class vote on whether each one does or does not make the long “o” sound.

Remind students that when they come across a new word, they should try pronouncing it in different ways until it sounds right. Encourage them to keep a notebook of new words and to read and write every day.