Well, I don’t know that I can think of anything more confusing than words with ‘ow’ sound. The words with ‘ow’ sound can makes two different sounds. They can say ‘ow’ like ‘wow’ or the can say ‘o’ like ‘grow’. Talk about crazy and talk about confusing, and talk about hard to teach! Mrs. Karle always says that letters are magic, and that phonics and making the letter sounds in magic. This truly is magic -the words with ‘ow’ sound can make two different sounds. What will they think of next?
So, with that in mind, I have a fun activity to help teach the words with the ‘ow’ sound. First I brainstormed all the words where the ‘ow’ says ‘ow’ as in ‘wow’. When Mrs. Karle taught these words she would ‘hurt’ herself and then say…’ow!’ Then she would put on a bandage with ‘ow’ written on it. So, the words with ‘ow’ on it…
To teach these words, I made a flower. Then, I put some of the words around the flower. You could add a second layer of petals to add even more ‘ow’ words that say ‘ow’ as in ‘flower’.
If I were teaching this in a class, I would stop there. All week -for a week or so, I would focus on the words with ‘ow’ sound as in ‘flower’ and make sure the students really know that the ‘ow’ makes the ‘ow’ as in ‘wow’ sound. I would read a book like Cow Takes a Bow to further practice the ow sound.
Then, after a few weeks of practice, I would then add a bow to the flower. The bow is a word with ‘ow’ sound that sounds like ‘o’ as in ‘know’. So, I would make a bow, and write on the flower the word ‘grow’, and as the flower ‘grows’, we ad a ‘bow’ and on the bow, we write words with ‘ow’ sound …
You could make it a yellow bow! (I made mine pink).
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Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.