On and Off the Octagon


Associate the letter O (and the lowercase letter o) with the short o sound (e.g., the o sound in on, off, ox).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • on
  • off
  • octagon
  • octopus
  • olives
  • omelet
  • ostrich


  • Octagon
  • Word and picture cards
  • Octagon puzzle pieces copied with an ostrich picture on the back

Tell the children that the letter O sometimes makes the /o/ sound like in on. Tell the children they will place pictures on an octagon as they practice saying the /o/ sound. Make a list of words that start with the /o/ sound such as on, off, octagon, octopus, olives, omelet, and ostrich.

Literacy Activities
Off the octagon

  • Place picture cards of words beginning with the short /o/ sound and picture cards that do not begin with the short /o/ sound on an octagon. Explain that an octagon is a shape with eight sides.
  • Have the children take the pictures off the octagon and decide if they start with the /o/ sound.
  • If the picture starts with the /o/ sound, have the children place the picture back on the octagon.
  • If the picture does not start with the /o/ sound, have the children discard the picture.
  • Throughout the activity emphasize the /o/ sound at the beginning of words that start with O.
  • Repeat the game using word cards. Have the children underline the letter O in the words then help them read the words.

On the octagon

  • Copy the puzzle pieces with the ostrich picture on the back. Cut out the pieces and hide them around the room.
  • Tell the children that an ostrich is hiding and there are clues around the room to help find him.
  • Have the children find the puzzle pieces and place them on the octagon.
  • Let the children name each picture. Point out that all of the pictures begin with the letter O which makes the /o/ sound.
  • Once all of the pieces are assembled, tape the puzzle together and turn it over to discover where the ostrich is hiding (show the children the picture of the ostrich hiding with his head underground).

More Practice (choose from the following)
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Have children identify the beginning, middle and ending sounds of words by tapping their shoulder (beginning), their elbow (middle) and end (fingers) (e.g. cot = /c/ tap shoulder, /o/ tap elbow, /t/ tap fingers). Point out that all of the words have the /o/ sound in the middle of the word.
    • pot = /p/ /o/ /t/
    • lot = /l/ /o/ /t/
    • hop = /h/ /o/ /p/
  • Have children blend individual sounds into words by tapping their shoulder (beginning sound), their elbow (middle sound) and fingers (ending sound) then clap to say the whole word (e.g., /c/ tap shoulder, /o/ tap elbow, /t/ tap fingers = cot clap hands).
    • /p/ /o/ /t/ = pot
    • /l/ /o/ /t/ = lot
    • /h/ /o/ /p/ = hop

Write the target letter:

  • Give the children an octagon and have them write the letter O on the octagon while saying the /o/ sound.
  • Octagon


SEEL At Home

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Associate the letter O with the short ŏ sound (e.g., the ŏ sound in on, off, olive).


  • O and non-O pictures 
  • Octagon

Activity: On the Octagon

  • Spread out the O and non-O picture cards on the table.
  • Help your child decide whether or not each picture begins with the letter O.
  • If the picture begins with the letter O, put it on the octagon and if the picture does not begin with the letter O then discard it.
  • Emphasize that the letter O makes the ŏ sound
  • Have your child write the letter O on the octagon while saying the ŏ sound. 

Picture Cards




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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.