Long O

Contributor: Melissa LaRusso. Lesson ID: 11979

Oh no! "O" is alone again! When this vowel is alone, it is lonely. It needs the right friends around, like other vowels, so it can say its name. Learn the ways the /o/ sound is spelled so you know!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Primary (K-2)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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What sound do these pictures have in common? You may have to say them different ways to find out!

soap. toes, and stones

The pictures above (soap, toes, stones) all have the long /o/ sound.

How many ways do you know to spell the long /o/ sound? On a piece of paper, list all the ways you know to make the long /o/ sound. In this lesson, you will learn eight ways to make the long /o/ sound.

The long /o/ sound can be spelled with just an o in an open syllable. An open syllable has one vowel at the end of the syllable. The vowel sound is a long /o/ sound.

Read these examples: so, go, no, open.

Notice the word "open" is a multisyllabic word. The first syllable is "o." The second syllable is "pen." The "o" in the word makes a long /o/ sound.

The long /o/ sound is also made with a vowel-consonant-e pattern. The "e" at the end of the syllable is silent and helps the "o" make a long vowel sound.

Read these examples: stone, throne, shone, and explode.

Vowel pairs can also make the /o/ sound. Read the following examples of vowel pairs:

  • ow as in grow. The spelling "ow" can represent two sounds: /ow/ as in cow and /σ/ as in show, slow, grow.
  • Ou as in four. The spelling "ou" can represent four sounds: /ow/ as in round, /σ/ as in four, /oo/ as in you, and /û/ as in country. Note that the second sound of ou is long o.
  • Oo as in floor. The spelling oo can represent three sounds: /oo/ as in boot, /û /as in foot, and /σ/ as in floor.
  • Oa as in boat.
  • Oe as in toe
  • ough as in though

And the most ridiculed of all English spellings, good old ough. This spelling can represent six different vowel (or semi-vowel) sounds. The good news is that once you've learned the following six words, you're home free:

  • /σ/ as in though
  • /oo/ as in through
  • /uf/ as in rough
  • /awf/ as in cough
  • /aw/ as in thought
  • /ow/ as in bough

Note that /σ/ is the first sound of ough: though

This may seem like a lot to remember but you will soon find it is easier to recognize the long o sound when you are reading.

Move to the Got It? section to read words with a long /o/ sound and sort the words by their spelling patterns.

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