Clean up with Uuuhh!
Barbara Jane Hall

Beginning Reading


Rationale: Before becoming skillful readers, children must understand the relationship between graphemes and their phonemes.  This lesson will help children understand the correspondence u = /u/. This lesson helps with the correspondence by spelling and reading words with the /u/ sound.


§  White board and marker

§  Poster with tongue tickler: Uncle Ulmer left his Umbrella Under the rug.

§  List of the following read-aloud words: bunk, bed, hut, house, mug, glass, shut, close

§  List of letterbox words:

  o   3: ten (review), bun, cute, sack (review), hung

  o   4: slush, rest (review), club, drum

    o   5: stump

§  Letterboxes for each student

§  Letter tiles (one set for each student): t, e, n, b, u, s, a, k, h, g, s, l, r, d, m, p

§  Copy of "Bud the Sub" (Educational Insights, Phonics Readers, 1990) for each student, and one for teacher.



1) Today, we are going to learn about the letter u (write letter on board) and the sound it makes.  The letter u makes the sound uhhh (slouch your shoulders and knit your eyebrows). Has your mom ever asked you to do something and you say uhhh Mom! The letter you sounds like uhhhh (slouch of shoulders and knit eyebrows) like when you don’t want to do something. Practice that sound with me uhhhh.  Make sure to slouch. (Demonstrate again).  Let's try one more time uhhh.  Class you are on top of this today!


2) Next, I am going to tell you a funny sentence this funny sentence can help us remember the sound u makes.  I'll say it first:  Uncle Ulmer left his Umbrella Under the rug.  This time I am going to say it super slow and I want you to give me a thumbs up for the uhhh sound: uuuuuncle uuuuulmer left his uuuuumbrella uuuuunder the ruuuuug.  Could you hear the uhhh sounds?  This time we are going to say it slowly all together, remember to slouch when you hear the uhhh sound!  Uuuuncle uuuulmer left his uuuumbrella uuuunder the ruuuug.  Awesome boys and girls!  Let's break off the uhhh sound in each of these words: /u/-ncle, /u/-ulmer, /u/-mbrella, /u/-nder, r-/u/-g.  Wow I am impressed!!


3) Everybody turn up your listening ears for this next activity. I am going to say pairs of words and I want you to tell me which word has the /u/ in it:  bunk or bed, hut or home, mug or glass, shut or close. Boys and girls you must have your listening ears turned up today! Great Job!


4) Boys and girls you all did such a good job with the sound u makes we are going to practice using it in words with our letterboxes.  I am going to pass out your letterboxes and letter tiles.  When you get the supplies do put both hands up in the air so I know you have your stuff. When everyone has their supplies I will show you what to do. Now, watch me spell the word cub.  (Model how to spell "stung" by placing one phoneme in each box on the letterbox drawn on the white board.  Ok, now that we are ready can everybody lay out 3 boxes. When every one has out three boxes you will read off these words; ten, bun, cut, sack, hung, saying one word at a time and walking around to check the students' progress). Next you will tell them to layout 4 letterboxes and read these words the same way as before, slush, rest, club, drum. The students will then lay out 5 boxes and spell stump. Make sure to encourage them and walk around to make sure students are understanding. Boys and girls you all are just super spellers!


4) Since everyone spelled the words so good, I am going to write each of those words on the board and I want you to read them out loud.  (Write one word at a time on the white board and have the students read the words aloud as a class).


5) Since everyone has worked so hard on the letter u today we are going to read the book Bud the Sub. Gus is Bud the Sub’s boss. One day Gus and Bud are out on the water and Bud and Gus run into a sub. Will the tug sink? We will have to read to find out. (Pass out books to the students and let them know they can raise their hands if they need help).



As students are doing the activities described above, I will be observing them as a means of informal assessment.  For a more formal assessment, students will complete an activity sheet.  With this worksheet they will practice writing the letter you in the words and then they will have to match the words to a picture.


Allison Bragg, Uhh, But my Umbrella:

Letterbox Lessons:



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