Operation Dr. Doodler

Time Required: One 45-minute session
Skill Level: Beginner
Recommended Grades: K to 2nd

In this lesson, students will work with a partner to become Doodle-Doctors by doodling and inserting the proper vowels into their patients. Similar to the classic Operation game, students must insert the proper doodled vowel with tweezers. If the wrong vowel is selected, the partner buzzes. The Doodle-Patient Template, which is also the "game board" for the activity, is made so that the teacher can customize the word bank and the missing vowels.

Note: Any links outside of the3doodler.com are optional resources. We can’t ensure their upkeep or accuracy.

Lesson Plan



A. Fill in each of the outlines on the Doodle-Patient Template with a different word. Create 10 Doodle-Patient templates for 10 words.
B. Leave a space for a missing vowel(s) in each word.
C. Use the cardstock to print up enough Doodle-Patient Templates for 10 words.
D. Print an answer key with the correct spelling of each word on a separate sheet of paper.

Step 2

Whole group: Review the vowels or vowel combinations to be focused on in this lesson.

*The teacher may focus on long or short vowels, vowels with silent e, or combination vowels, e.g., ou, ai, ea, etc.

Step 3

Project the computer or tablet screen on the board for students to view the Doodle-Vowel Poem. Read the poem to the students and then recite the poem together.

Step 4

Project the Doodle-Patient Template on the board.

Step 5

Share the goal: During this session, students will become Doodle-Doctors, replacing the missing vowels in each Doodle-Patient Template. Ask students if they have ever played the classic Operation board game. This will be helpful in establishing a connection with some students.

Step 6

Instruct students to doodle each vowel on the Vowel Stencil. Note that students should trace over letters a few time to create a raised profile which will be easier to grip later with tweezers. Peel vowels off the page and arrange them on the desk neatly.

Step 7

Partners will take turn using the tweezers to pick up the proper vowel(s) and place them into the missing vowel spaces on each Doodle-Patient. Each partner should have 5 turns.

Step 8

When a partner places the proper vowel in a word, he or she wins a point. Partners lose a point when an incorrect vowel is placed in a word. The correct spellings should appear on the back of each Doodle-Patient Template.

Step 9

Divide students into pairs and hand out supplies. Circle to assist and assess.

Wrap Up

Have students share feedback about the game as a whole group. Share patients and doodled vowels on Twitter. @3Doodler #3DoodlerEDU


The teacher will assess the students by informal observation while circling the room.

Possible Extensions

Teacher gives students a blank Patient Template and students write their own words with missing vowels. Play again with a partner.


  • creative thinking - a way of looking at problems or situations from a fresh and imaginative perspective.

  • language arts - the subjects (such as reading, spelling, literature, and composition) that aim at developing the student's comprehension and capacity for use of written and oral language.

  • literacy - the quality or state of being literate.

  • problem-solving - the process or act of finding a solution to a problem.

  • reading - the form or version of a given passage in a particular text.

  • sight words - commonly used words that young children are encouraged to memorize as a whole by sight, so that they can automatically recognize these words in print without having to use any strategies to decode.

  • spelling - the manner in which words are spelled.

  • vocabulary - the stock of words used by or known to a particular people or group of persons.

  • vowel - a speech sound produced without occluding, diverting, or obstructing the flow of air from the lungs (opposed to consonant).

Educational Standards

Common Core

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

In This Lesson

Students will identify the missing vowel in each word and replace it.

CS Teachers

Decompose (break down) a larger problem into smaller sub-problems with teacher guidance or independently.

In This Lesson

Students will break down the process of identifying vowels in a tactile activity of doodling and inserting the proper vowel in a word.


Use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.

In This Lesson

Students will use a 3Doodler to create a tactile model of vowels.


Create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.

In This Lesson

Students will doodle vowels to use in an Operation-style game.


Use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts or community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.

In This Lesson

Students will confer with a partner and with the whole group throughout this activity.

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