Fuzz Gets an Unpleasant Buzz!


Beginning Reader
By: Jessica Parker




Rationale: To enable children to be successful readers, it is imperative that they learn to identify letters and the sounds that those letters make. The letter-sound correspondence is the foundation of reading and therefore requires explicit instruction. This is why I have chosen to teach the short vowel u and its sound /u/. In my lesson we will go over the u = /u/, spell words with this correspondent, and identify it in print and spoken language.  


Letterbox set for each student

Chalkboard/ Dry Erase board

Letterbox set for the teacher (This is a piece of 8 x 10 colored card stock for each box.  This provides a letterbox that is big enough for the teacher to model for the class.)

Copy of Fuzz and the Buzz for each student or each pair of students

Primary Paper


Letter cutouts for students and letters for the teacher. (The larger index cards would make nice teacher letters for the teacher letterboxes.)
Letters needed: p, u, f, f, a, l, t, o, b,
g, z, z, s, h, n, m, c, r, k,

Poster of Tongue Twister “My uncle was upset with his unruly umbrella!”


Picture Worksheet (This is a teacher made worksheet that has different groups of pictures.  There are two pictures in each group, one that has the /u/ sound and one that does not.  Students have to circle which picture has the /u/ sound and then can color the pictures.)




1.)“Today we are going to learn a new sound for one of our alphabet letters.  That letter is u.  The sound that we are learning is the sound that u makes when it is alone in a word and that sound is /u/.  To make it easy to remember our new sound, we are going to learn a fun movement we can do with our bodies.  Have any of you ever had a time when you didn’t get something you wanted?! Well, I know I have and whenever that happens I always put my hands on my hips and say /u/. Demonstrate by putting hands on your hips and saying /u/. Now let’s see if everyone can do it. Remember to make the /u/ sound when you put your hands on your hips.  I like that attitude! Learning is fun and it’s important that we have fun while we learn.”


2.) “Now let’s learn a fun tongue twister with our /u/ sound in it. Put up the poster for all the children to see.  Our tongue twister says “My uncle was upset with his unruly umbrella!” Can anyone tell me what unruly means?  That’s right it means it doesn’t do the right thing.  Now I want us all to read the tongue twister together.  Thank you for all reading with me!  This time when we read our tongue twister I want us to stretch out the /u/ sound and when we do that let’s do our hands on the hips movement.  Everyone ready? “My u-u-u-uncle was u-u-upset with his u-u-u-unruly u-u-u-umbrella!”.  WOW, you guys are really good at this!


3.)Now have students tell whether they hear the /u/ sound in different words.  “I’m going to give you a choice between to different words and I want you to tell me which word has the /u/ sound.  Does cat or hug have the /u/ sound? Good. Sob or fun? Jump or dance?

4.)“Take out your letters and letterboxes.  Everyone make sure you spread out your letters on your desk so that you can see all your letter.  (Use the big model taped on the board so that everyone can see the boxes and the letters.) Now, we are going to spell words that have the /u/ sound in them.  Remember to put only one sound in each box.  Watch me as I spell the word bug.  /B-b-b-u-u--g-g-g/ I am saying the word out loud so I can hear all the sounds.  It’s ok to do that, it helps to say the word out loud so we can hear all of the sounds.  The first sound I hear in bug is /b/.    So, I am going to put the b in my first box.  What is the second sound I hear? (Do the hands on hips move) Correct! I hear the /u/ sound.  So, I put the u in the next box.  The last sound I hear is /g/, and so I put the g in the last box.  Let’s read our word.  B-u-g. Good job! We have just spelled the word bug! Let’s give you a try now and see if you can spell these words that have /u/ in them.  Use your letters and letterboxes to spell these words: (2) phonemes: up (3) puff, hug, buzz, mud (4) blush, stun, (5) strum. Tell the students how many boxes they will need to use for each set of words. We’re ready to practice reading and spelling our words with the /u/ sound.  Do your best to spell them just the way I showed you.  When you are finished, raise your hand and I will come check your work! You can also have your neighbor check your spelling. ”


            5.)After students have finished spelling the words and reading them, pass out Fuzz and the Buzz to each pair of students. “Today we are going to read a story called Fuzz and the Buzz. This                 story is about Fuzz the cub. One day Fuzz decides to go out for some nuts. To get the nuts Fuzz has to shake the tree that the nuts are in, but when he shakes the tree he makes                   some bees, that also lived in the tree, very mad.  What will happen to Fuzz? Will he be able to get away?! You'll have to read to find out! So everyone start reading with your                         partner.  Make sure you both read too. I am going to come around if you have any questions.”  Have the students read on their own. When they are finished reading, ask the students what                 words they read that had the /u/ sound in them.  Write the words on the board.




Pass out the picture worksheet and go over the names of the different pictures to avoid confusion.  Have the students’ circle the pictures that have the /u/ sound and let them color after they have completed the worksheet.  For other assessments, the teacher could have each child come up to the teacher's desk individually and read Fuzz and the Buzz and assess the reading using a running record. 




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Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650. 


(1990).  Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Fuzz and the BuzzCarson, CA (USA): Educational Insights. 


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