Unlock the Lock

Unlock the Lock
Target text


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -ock to make words such as dock, rock, and sock.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • lock
  • sock
  • rock
  • dock
  • block


  • File folder
  • Duct tape (optional)
  • Easel (optional)
  • Three sheets of cardstock
  • Doors 1, 2, and 3 graphics
  • Envelopes (one for each child)


The children will unlock locks and unscramble words as they add sounds to the -ock ending to make words such as lock, sock, and dock.

Literacy Activities:

Mother Alphabet's Word Factory

  • Attach picture cards to the front of each envelope and place the matching letter cards inside.
  • Fold each sheet of cardstock in half and glue the locks from each graphics sheet onto the front of each piece of cardstock (so the cardstock looks like a door).
  • Put the envelopes in their corresponding cardstock folder (i.e., a cardstock folder for doors 1, 2, and 3).
  • Cover the file folder with duct tape and set it on an easel (optional).
  • Put the cardstock folders inside the file folder.
  • Explain to the children that Mother Alphabet's -ock words are all mixed up and need to be unscrambled.
  • Point out the lock to the children and write lock on the whiteboard while emphasizing the short vowel o and the -ck spelling of /k/.
  • Ask the children if they are ready to unlock the first door and help Mother Alphabet, then prompt the children to reply, "Yes! Unlock the lock!"
  • The first door:
    • Each envelope contains the same word. Allow the children to work together to unscramble the word.
    • Just as the children are about to open their envelopes, tap on the cardstock door.
    • Explain that you hear Mother Alphabet knocking and that she has a clue that will help!
    • Door #1 clue: the -ck spelling of /k/ is never found at the beginning of words, only at the end.
    • Let the children unscramble the letters to spell the word sock.
    • Let a child write the word sock on the whiteboard while you point out the spelling.
  • The second door:
    • Repeat the above procedure.
    • Door #2 clue: If there is a -ck at the end of a word, there is only one vowel in the word.
    • After the children unscramble their words, have a child write rock and dock on the whiteboard while you point out the spelling.
  • The third door: 
    • Repeat the above procedure.
    • Door #3 clue: The one vowel will always be right next to the -ck ending.
    • After the children unscramble their words, point to the different vowels.
    • Write block and black on the whiteboard and point out that no matter what the vowel is, the vowel will always be right next to the -ck ending.
  • Observe the words on the whiteboard and discuss what is the same and what is different about all of the words.
  • Discuss with the children why black does not belong with the other words (i.e., the vowel is different) and erase it.

More Practice

Write words from context

  • Erase the words on the board and have the children make a list of -ock words on a piece of paper for Mother Alphabet.
  • Have the children write words as you say them: lock, sock, rock, dock, and block
  • Let the children add more -ock words to their lists if they want to do so.



See More

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.D: Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.C: Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.