Amos the ape character
Eli the ostrich character
Ivy the dog character
Otis the raccoon character
Uri the unicorn character
Yvette the bee character

Outlaw Word Families Lesson Plan


Outlaws

Objectives:
  • Students will recognize and pronounce words that have irregular spelling patterns ead, old, ild, ind and ought.
  • Students will be able to spell and write with irregular spelling patterns ead, old, ild, ind, and ought.
About the Concept:
As children learn to read and spell, they will encounter many words that do not follow the rules of regular spelling and pronunciation. For example, they may have learned that one vowel in the middle of a word usually has a short vowel sound. The words kind, find, gold, told, child, and wild are exceptions to this rule because the vowels in all of these words have a long vowel sound. Children may have also learned the rule that when two vowels are side-by-side in a word, the first vowel is usually long and the second vowel is usually silent. The words bread, dead, bought, and thought are exceptions to this rule. The first vowel in words like bread and dead has a short vowel sound. Words like bought and thought have vowel sounds that are neither long nor short. Fortunately for young readers and spellers, many irregular spelling words (sometimes called outlaw words) belong to groups of words with the same irregular spelling patterns. In the song Outlaws, children learn to recognize and pronounce words that belong to groups of irregular spelling patterns. Other irregular spelling patterns (outlaw word families) are covered in the Sing Your Way Through Phonics Vol. 2 song, Cool Vowels and the Sing Your Way Through Phonics Vol. 3 songs, There is no K in Christmas, When S is Sweet as Sugar, and . Be sure to read the “Extensions” section below for additional outlaw word families activities and for additional words with irregular spelling patterns.
Materials:

Note: If you do not have the CD or Mini-Charts, you can still teach this two vowels together spelling pattern lesson plan using the folk tune listed on the Outlaws Song Lyrics page. You can create your own mini-charts using the words in bold print letters in each verse of the Song Lyrics.

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Procedure:
outlaw words ead family, old family
outlaw words ild family, ind family
outlaw words ought family
  1. Say, “Who remembers the rule for two vowels together in the middle of a word?" (When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking and the second one does the walking.) "Today, we are going to learn about some groups of words that do not follow the rules. We'll call these groups of words gangs of outlaws because they do not follow the laws of spelling. Point to the word bread on Sing Your Way Through Phonics Mini-Chart p. 88 and say, "This word is bread. If it followed the two vowels together rule, how would we say it? (/breed/) Point to ĕd and say, "This is is the sound we hear in words like bread." Pronounce the /ĕd/ sound together. Point to the outlaw signs at the top of the page. Can you read some of the other words in the same outlaw gang as bread? (dead, spread)
  2. Say, “Who remembers the rule for one vowel in the middle of a word?" (One vowel in the middle of a word is usually short.) Point to the word told on Sing Your Way Through Phonics Mini-Chart p. 89 and say, "This word is told. If it followed the one vowel in the middle rule, how would we say it? (/tŏld/) Point to ōld and say, "This is is the sound we hear in words like told." Pronounce the /ōld/ sound together. Point to the outlaw signs at the top of the page. Can you read some of the other words in the same outlaw gang as told? (hold, cold)
  3. Point to the word wild on Sing Your Way Through Phonics Mini-Chart p. 90 and say, "This word is wild. If itfollowed the one vowel in the middle rule, how would we say it? (/wĭld/) Point to īld and say, "This is is the sound we hear in words like wild." Pronounce the /īld/ sound together. Point to the outlaw signs at the top of the page. Can you read some of the other words in the same outlaw gang as wild? (mild, child)
  4. Point to the word kind on Sing Your Way Through Phonics Mini-Chart p. 91 and say, "This word is kind. If it followed the one vowel in the middle rule, how would we say it? (/kĭnd/) Point to īnd and say, "This is is the sound we hear in words like kind." Pronounce the /īnd/ sound together. Point to the outlaw signs at the top of the page. Can you read some of the other words in the same outlaw gang as kind? (find, mind)
  5. Point to the word bought on Sing Your Way Through Phonics Mini-Chart p. 91 and say, "This word is bought. If it followed the two vowels together rule, how would we say it? (/bōt/) Point to awt and say, "This is is the sound we hear in words like bought. The /aw/ sounds the same as it does in the word saw." Pronounce the /awt/ sound together. Point to the outlaw signs at the top of the page. Can you read some of the other words in the same outlaw gang as bought? (thought, ought)
  6. Explain that in the song, Outlaws, each word has an outlaw letter pattern that doesn't follow the rules. In the song, the number of outlaws hiding in the word equals the number of letters from the vowels to the end of the word. Point to the word bread and say, "So, in the word bread, how many letters are in the outlaw pattern?" (three) Point to the word bought and say, "Counting from the first vowel to the end of the word, how many letters are in this outlaw pattern? (five) Play Outlaws (Sing Your Way Through Phonics Vol. 1 CD, Track 19), pointing to the Mini-Chart words and patterns and asking the children to join in the song as soon as they think they know the words. On the refrain of the song, point to the spelling outlaws holding rhyming words at the top of each Mini-Chart page.
  7. Play the CD again, and ask a group of children to play the sheriff, singing the lines, "Those three letters don't follow the rules!" or "Those five letters don't follow the rules!"
  8. Review the concept of outlaw words, saying "So, what is an outlaw word?" (a word that doesn't follow the spelling rules) "What is a gang of outlaws?" (rhyming words that have the same outlaw spelling patterns)

Follow-up:
mini-chart blank page template
  1. Practice singing Outlaws daily for a week. Then try singing the song without hearing the words, using the instrumental track (Track 20). Allow different students to point to the Mini-Charts words while singing.
  2. Sing Outlaws with the instrumental track (Track 20) and substitute one of the other outlaw words at the top of each page for the word that is printed on the page.
  3. Help students create other examples of outlaw word families for the song. Make 8 copies of Mini-Chart Template B on p.96 and allow students write in a new word and the pronunciation of the outlaw spelling pattern on each page. Examples: read, lead, thread (ĕd), gold, bold, fold, sold, scold (ōld); blind, hind, wind (īnd); brought, fought, (awt); night, light, fight, sight, might, fright, delight, right (īt). Place these pages back-to-back in page protectors in a 3-ring binder. Then sing the song with the instrumental version (Track 20).

Extensions:
Outlaws book with CD
outlaw jail
  1. Introduce the Read-and-Sing Book, Outlaws. As readers sing along with the lively song set to the folktune Shortnin' Bread, they can read the outlaw words on the signs or on the bags that the outlaws are holding. In this book, characters travel to many locations for to gather bags of loot. The sheriff eventually catches them and all their bags. Children can challenge themselves to read the words on all of the bags piled up in the jail cell on the last page of the book. Keep a few copies of the book at a literacy center equipped with headsets so that students can gain practice in listening, singing, and reading irregular spelling words.
  2. Create a bulletin board where outlaw words are put in “jail” (a building with separate rooms for each outlaw gang).  Add pictures illustrating the words for added interest.

  3. Dramatize the song with one student playing the part of the sheriff and other children holding letter cards that spell out the outlaw word.
  4. Use the instrumental version of each song to practice other outlaw word families. Examples: ould—could, should, would, eather—feather, leather, weather.

Evaluation:
  1. Students read all the words on Mini-Charts pp. 88-92 without assistance.
  2. Students correctly pronounce irregular spelling patterns ead, old, ind, ild and ought.

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