Taking a cruise to u=/u/
Beginning Reading
By Randi Lipscomb

Rational:  Having a strong understanding and identification of common correspondences develops proficient readers.  It is extremely important to be familiar with vowel correspondences.  Through this lesson, the goal is to teach the vowel correspondence u=/u/.  This lesson will teach the students how to pronounce the phoneme /u/, as well as, to recognize the grapheme u, read u in print and write words that contain the u correspondence.


ð Student copies of Bud the Sub
ð Elkonin letterboxes and cutout letters for students
ð Letters:  b, u, m, p, th, r, c, l, f n, g, s, d, j
ð Elkonin letterboxes drawn on board
ð Chalk or white board marker
ð Primary paper
ð Pencils
ð Word Cards
ð Activity Sheet


1. Begin lesson by a review of the other four vowel correspondences /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/.   Call out list of words and ask the children which word contains each correspondence.  List of words:  fat, best, milk, maps, yell, ran, mends, fix-it.  If they miss the word, say word again and emphasize the phoneme.
2. Class, we have learned all of the vowels in the alphabet but one, what do you think it might be?  We have learned?  (Let the class call them out)  Good, so we know a, e, i, o. U good that is what we are going to learn today.  We are going to learn how to spot the letter u in written text.  Do your remember what your mouth does when it says /u/?  Class what my mouth and then we will all do it together. The teacher will say the phoneme and the children will watch her mouth and then repeat after her.  The sound is /u/.  Watch as I hold the sound out /uuuuu/.  Can you guys hold /u/ out like me?  Splendid! That was perfect!  You are all catching on so fast!
3. Class can you tell me any words that come to mind that have the /u/ sound in them?  I will begin.  I am thinking of the word "bug".  (Teacher will write bug on the board and underline the /u/ in bug).  Does everyone see why I used this word and why I underlined the u?  Good, now I want you to give me some words. (Teacher will write their words on the board and underline the u, if they give a wrong word, the teacher will say the word and explain why it is wrong.  She will stress its phoneme.)
4. Write tongue twister on the board.  "Up under the ugly umbrella hums a bug" Teacher will says tongue twister and class will repeat her.  How many times did you hear /u/?  Can anyone raise their hand and tell me what words have the /u/ sound in them?   Great! "up" has the /u/ sound.  Now everyone say uuuuup after me.  Uuuuuuup. Teacher will now circle the word "up" and continue this process until the tongue twister is complete.
5. Now we are going to play a game.  I am going to hold up cards with words on them.  If the card has the /u/ sound I want you to give me a thumbs "up" if it does not them give me thumbs down.  For an example if the word on this card was "cub" you would give me a thumbs "up" because it has the /u/ sound.  If the word was "can" you would give me a thumbs down because it has the /a/ sound.  Does anyone not understand?  Good then we will begin.  List of words may be:  bump, sat, fun, ment, lump, rush, milk, rump and etc·
6. Draw Elkonin letterboxes on the board to do letterbox lesson.  Explain that we are going to spell words with /u/ sound using u and we will do some review words with /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/.  Have the students get out their own letterboxes and letters to work nicely at their desk.  They will need the following letters:  b, u, m, p, th, r, c, l, f, n, g, s, d, j. Remind the students to turn their letters over to the lower case side.  Remind students that each box holds only one mouth move.  Teacher will demonstrate on the board using the u correspondence, spelling the word LUMP.  "There is a lump in my throat".  It will go into four boxes because we made four different mouth moves. Listen "llll"  "uuuu"  "mmmm"  "pppp".  So in the first box I will put a "l", in the second I will put a "u", in the third I will put a "m" and in the last box I will put a "p".  Now let's try one as a class.  Let's use the word BUG.  "I hear a bug buzzing in my ear."  How many boxes will we need for this word?  How many sounds does our mouth make?  Good, three.  What will we put in our first box?  B will go in our first box and then U and then G.  You guys did that wonderfully!  Now the students will fill in the correct letters in their letterboxes for the words below.  Give a sentence with each word ö allow them to make up sentences also.  Have the students spell the word and then have a volunteer to come up and spell it on the board.  Inform the students when a letterbox is added.
Words are:
* Cup (3 letterboxes)
* Fun (3 letterboxes)
* Rush (3 letterboxes)
* Drum (4 letterboxes)
* Club (4 letterboxes)
* Jump (4 letterboxes)
* Thump(4 letterboxes)
* Rump (4 letterboxes
Review Words are:
* Flat (4 letterboxes)
* Bend (4 letterboxes)
* Will (3 letterboxes)
* Sob (3 letterboxes)
7. Now the children will take out their book Bud the Sub.  The teacher will give brief book talk. This book is about a sub named bud. He is small and one day a tug boat gets hit and the people on board need help.  Do you think bud can save them?  Let's read an find out!  The children will pair up to read the book.  The teacher will pair by reading ability and walk around assisting and scaffolding.

Assessment:  Have the students write the words with the/u/ sound in them as you ask:
Which word says /u/?  bud or bed?  Duck or cat?  Drum or stick?  Thump or hit?


Bud the Sub.  Carson, CA:  Educational Insights, 1990.

Hill, Tonya.  2002.  "The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plains Beginning to Read Lesson Design"- http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/elucid/hillbr.html.

Sterwart, Christi.  2003.  "Eddie the Egg"-http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/stewartbr.html

Patterson, Leann.  2003.  "Lucky Ducky"- http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/pattersonbr.html

Murray, B.A. and T. Lesniak.  (1999). "The letterbox lesson:  A hands-on approach to teaching decoding."  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

Words For Review Cards
(These are optional, you may make your own)

    cub             bed              sad

   fish             drum             ramp

   jump             flat               thump

   bend             fun                 rush

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