Too often we give children rules for vowel sounds. Most of these rules are violated more often than they appear true. Starting at second grade and above, children enjoy making some discoveries about the various sounds of vowel teams (diphthongs). This is an activity designed to help them make those discoveries.
Tell the children that today they will be hunting for or brainstorming for single-syllable words containing the oo letter combination __oo__. The activity can be extended to include words with the __oo_e pattern. Arrange students in pairs. Assign the weaker student in each pair to be the scribe. The students will look through whatever books are available to find words and the scribe lists all words on paper. An option is to have a chart of beginning and ending blends available and students can form words from these. Allow about 10 minutes for this search.
Make a master list on the chalkboard, first soliciting a word from each group, then making the rounds again until all words have been listed. These words can be listed according to the sound of the 'oo'.
Possible long oo words: too, zoo, food, roof, cool, fool, school, stool, tool, broom, room, loon, moon, noon, soon, poor, goose, loose, boot, root, groove
Possible short oo words: good, hood, stood, wood, book, brook, coook, look, took, wool, foot
Possible r-controlled oo words: door, floor
Possible short u words: blood, flood
Discuss: How many pronunciations were found for 'oo'? Help them to discover that when oo is followed by the \s\ or \z\ sound, it is usually followed by an 'e' (goose, loose). The same is true with the \v\ sound (groove).
ADDITIONAL FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:
Note high frequency words: good, look, too
Nouns, verbs, adjectives: Have children find five of each and combine some of them to write sentences.
Add -er (comparative) and -est (superlative) to soon, cool. Note that the comparative forms for 'good' are 'better' and 'best'.
Create noun form by adding -er to cool & cook.
Add -s, -ing, and -ed to cool, cook, look, flood.
Prefixes: To which words can you add the prefix 're'? (reroof, retool, reboot, recook) To which words can you add the prefix 'un'? (uncooked, unloose)
Homophones: (Only one word appears to have homophones) to, too, two
Dictionary exercise: Look up the words 'room', 'hood', 'floor'. How many meanings can be found for each of these words? How many different parts of speech do these include? Have students write sentences to illustrate the different meanings.
Compound words: Words which can be formed from these words in conjunction with words previously taught include: toadstool, doorbell, good-bye, afternoon, woodpecker, bedroom, indoors, football
Derivative words: cookies, wooden
Lesson taken from "The Spel-Lang Tree: Trunks" c.1998 by Grace Vyduna-Haskins.