Uuuuuuh!  I don't know!!!

Emergent Literacy Lesson Design
Ginger Outlaw

Rationale:  Phonemic is a prerequisite for phonics knowledge, spelling development, and word recognition, and is the predictor of later reading and spelling achievement (Eldredge p.27).  In this lesson, students should learn short u or /u/ through a variety of tasks such as tongue twisters and listening for /u/ in spoken words.

1. Chart with the phrase, "Ugly duckling was upset because he was unusual."
2. Students will need primary grade paper and pencil
3. The book The Lucky Duck
4. Star stickers

1. Introduce the lesson by letting students know that reading and writing can sometimes be quite confusing.  There are many different sounds and letters to learn, but today we are just going to focus on /u/.  This is short u.  Notice the way your mouth moves as you say /u/.  Your lips should stick out very little and your tongue should lay flat in your mouth.
2. Ask students, "Has anyone ever asked you a question and you did not know the answer?"  Sure everyone has and most people respond by saying, "Uuuuhhh, I don't know!"  Well this "uuuuh!" that people make is exactly the same as the short /u/.  This will be the sound that we are listening for today.  Can you hear the /u/ in the word fun?  Stretch it out a little if you need to.  F-u-u-u-n!!  Great!  That's the /u/ sound.
3. Now let's try a tongue twister. [Get the chart] "Ugly duckling was upset because he was unusual."  Let's all say this together now.  Okay, this time around, let's hold the /u/ sound a little longer.  U-u-u-u-gly du-u-u-ckling was u-u-u-pset because he was u-u-u-u-unusual.  Let's do this once more, but this time, let's break the /u/ off of each word.  /u/gly d/u/ckling was /u/pset because he was /u/nusual.  Terrific job!
4. Ask students to take out their paper and pencil.  Now we are going to use the letter u to spell the sound /u/.  Ready?  You'll need to start at the dotted fence and make an upside down n all the way to the sidewalk.  When you have made your letters correctly, I will place a star sticker on your paper and you are to continue writing u's on your paper.
5. Leave your paper out for another activity.  Listen closely to the words that I call out.  I want you to listen for the /u/ sound.  If you hear it in the first word that I say, write the number one on your paper.  If you hear it in the second word that I say, write the number two on your paper.  [Teacher should keep up with the order of words to assess students effectively].
Do you hear the /u/ sound in the word  bee or bug?  up or clown? run or ran?
6. Read the book- The Lucky Duck to students.  After reading discuss book with the class.  Reread the book and tell the students to shrug every time they hear a word with the /u/ sound in it.  This will tie in with the title "Uhhhh! I don't know!"
7. For assessment:  Have students to write two sentences in their tablets that contain the sound /u/.  Model a sentence on the board.  "The duck and the bug got stuck."

Clark, Carolyn.  The Lucky Duck.  Modern Curriculum Press, 1996.

Eldredge, J. Teaching Decoding in the Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall Inc., 1995. p. 27

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