Punch in the Gut"
Children need to
understand that letters stand for phonemes and that spellings map out
phonemes in the words that people say. Children must first recognize
phonemes in spoken words before they can match letters to the phonemes
they represent. This lesson is to help children identify /u/ (short u).
will learn to recognize /u/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful
representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /u/ in
Materials: primary paper and pencil;
chart with "My upset uncle is under the umbrella;" set of cards with
/u/ on one side and a question mark on the other; drawing paper and
crayons; Fuzz and the Buzz (Educational
Insights), picture page with suds, mud,
bat, nuts, bug, dog, duck, sun, gun, nest, rug, mug.
Procedures: 1. Introduce
by explaining that our written
language is like a secret code. You must figure out what mouth movement
letters stand for. Today we're going to
be working on finding the /u/ sound. At first it will be hard to find
sound, but as you get some practice you will be able to pick it out in
2. Ask students: Have
you ever been hit in the stomach? If you have then you probably said
is the mouth movement we are looking for in words. Let's pretend we are
punched in a boxing match and make the /u/ sound. (Gently punch
the stomach, then ask your students to do the same)!
3. Let's try a
tongue twister (on chart) "My upset uncle is under the umbrella"
Everybody say it with me 3 times. Now lets say it again, stretching out
sound at the beginning of all the words. "My uuupset uuuncle is uuunder
the uuumbrella." Let's try it
again, and this time break it off the word: "My /u/ pset /u/ ncle is
nder the /u/ mbrella."
4. Have students take out primary paper and
pencil. We can use letter u to spell /u/. Let's
write it. Start at the fence. Draw down
to the sidewalk, curve and go back up to the fence, and now, without
your pencil, draw straight down to the sidewalk again. I want to see
draw a u. After I check it and put a sticker on it, then I want you to
nine more just like it, so you'll have ten in all. When you see the
u all by itself in a word, that's the signal to make the "punched in
stomach sound," /u/.
5. Call on students to tell how they know: Do you hear /u/ in bug or spider? Star or
sun? Mud or dirt? Dog or pup? (Pass out /u/ - question mark cards
student). Say: Let's see if you can spot
the mouth move /u/ in some words. Show me the u if you hear /u/ and the
question mark if you don't. (Give words one by one). My,
upset, uncle, is, under, the, umbrella.
6. Read Fuzz and
the Buzz and talk about the story. Read it again and have students
their hands when they hear words with /u/. List their words on the
have each child draw a Hot Air Balloon and write a message about it
invented spelling. Display their work.
7. For assessment, distribute the picture page
the students name each picture. Ask each student to circle the pictures
names have the punch in the gut /u/ sound in them.
– "Under the Umbrella" by Amanda Mahoney
– "The Squiggly Snake Says: Sssss" by Stefanie Berryhill
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