cones and zones


Read and write words with the long o silent e vowel pattern (e.g., cone, zone).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • cone
  • zone
  • stone


  • Paper cones (see below)
  • Square sheets of paper taped to paper cones to make traffic cones
  • Paper crumpled into balls and placed in a cone to make an ice cream cone
  • Paper stones (see below)
  • Word cards (see below)
  • Letter cards (see below)
  • Ice Cream Cone Zone target text (see below)

State and model the objective

Tell the children that they will make a zone of cones and they will read and write words with the long o silent e spelling pattern, such as zone, cone, and stone.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Ice cream cone zone
    • Make several cones using a paper template (see below) or your own method.
    • Fill one cone with crumpled balls of paper to make an ice cream cone.
    • Turn the other cones upside down and tape to square sheets of paper to make traffic cones.
    • Place the traffic cones in an area of the room and have the children label the area danger zone.
    • Ask the children to label stones by writing "safe zone stone" on each paper stone (see below).
    • Place the stones in a path that leads to the ice cream cone and have the children label the area by the ice cream cone an "ice cream cone zone."
    • Allow the children to follow the safe zone path of stepping stones then let them pretend to eat an ice cream cone in the ice cream cone zone.
  • Word zone
    • Block off an area of the room with traffic cones and place word cards (see below) in the area.
    • Allow the children to choose a card from the word zone and help them read the word on the card.
    • Let the children crumple the word into a paper ball to place in the ice cream cone.
    • Have the children choose other word cards from the word zone to make into ice cream for the ice cream cone.

Apply the skill

Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • With word blending letter cards (see below), help the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
    • Change the beginning sound(s): cone --> zone; lone --> bone; stone --> drone
    • Change the vowel sound: cone --> cane; lone --> line; drove --> drive
    • Change the ending sound(s): cone --> code; hone --> home; drone --> drove

Read target words in texts

  • Have the children underline the words with the long o silent e spelling pattern in the target text Ice Cream Cone Zone (see below).
  • Read the text to the children then engage them in reading the text simultaneously with you.
  • Allow the children to read the Ice Cream Cone Zone target text again fading support.

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Introduce a word wall displaying target words from the lesson (i.e., cone, stone, zone) and have the children write a sentence or two expressing ideas from a lesson activity or target text using words from the word wall.

SEEL Target Texts

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Ice Cream Cone Zone

Let’s go get an ice cream cone.
To get ice cream, we go to the Ice Cream Cone Zone.
Do you see the Ice Cream Cone Zone’s cones?
Look! We see a path of stepping stones!
The stepping stones lead to the cones of the Ice Cream Cone Zone.
We can follow the stones to get our ice cream cones!



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.C: Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.