Uh Oh! Where's Uncle Ugly?

Beginning Reading

By: Sharon Scyphers


Rationale: Beginning readers need to understand phonemes and how to identify letters that depict phonemes in spoken words. This lesson will work with the students to teach them to identify, spell, and read words that have the u=/u/ correspondence.




I will begin by introducing the correspondence u=/u/. Today, we are going to work with the letter "u". The letter "u" says /u/ like the sound you make when you are thinking really hard. To make the /u/ you leave your tongue in the bottom of your mouth and the sound comes from your voice box in your throat. Everyone try to make the /u/ sound with me. (help where needed!)

Now that everyone knows what sound "u" makes, let's see who knows what "u" looks like? I will have the vowels displayed and allow a student to show the correct letter. (Give assistance or praise as necessary.)

Once the students are able to recognize what "u" looks like, then I want the students to determine which word has the u=/u/ sound in it out of the pair of words provided. Since we know the letter "u" makes the /u/ sound like when we are thinking really hard, let's see if we can choose the word that has that /u/ sound in it. I have a card that says 'but' and a card that says 'bit'. Which card has that /u/ sound in it? Be sure to draw out the vowel sounds so that the students clearly hear the choices. Good job! Let's try some more. Which word do you hear the /u/ sound in with 'tag' and 'tug'?... Continue with the cards through the five pairs of words.

Next the students will work with the tongue twister. Who can tell me what a tongue twister is?  If no one responds give a definition such as, A tongue twister is a group of hard words with the same sound that make up a silly sentence." We have a tongue twister with our /u/ sound. It says "Uncle Ugly is under Ursela's umbrella." Now we are going to say it together as a class. If you forget the words just glance up here at the poster! Ok, 1, 2, 3... 'Uncle Ugly is under Ursela's umbrella'. Very good! Now let's say it and hold our /u/ sounds like 'Uuuuuuuuncle Uuuuuuugly'. Ok, 1, 2, 3... 'Uuuuuuncle Uuuuuugly is uuuuuunder Uuuuuuursela's uuuuuuumbrella'. Awesome job friends!

Pass out letterboxes to each student. Provide each student with the appropriate lowercase letters to complete the activity. Demonstrate the use of letter boxes by showing an example on the board or overhead. Be sure to mention that three boxes would be used for three mouth movements. We are going to use our letter tiles and letterboxes to practice spelling words that have /u/ sounds. Watch what I do first and then you can try it with other words. The first words I am going to try is 'hug'. 'Hug' has three mouth movements- /h/ /u/ /g/. The first movement is when I say the /h/ so I will put that in the first letterbox. The second movement is when I say /u/ so I will put that in the second letterbox. The last movement is when I say /g/ so I will put that in the last letterbox. Now we can see that /h/ /u/ /g/ spells the word hug. Once the directions are clear, the students can practice with their own words. Now I am going to give each of you a card with a word on it. I want you to use your letterboxes to spell out your word. Say the word to yourself and find when your mouth moves! Use the sample word cards for each student. If the students ease through the activity, the teacher might consider giving words with higher phoneme counts. Allow the students to share what they did and why so that any corrections can be made.

Once the students have a firm understanding of the correspondence, provide each of them with the book Bud the Sub. Bud the Sub and his friend Gus are cruising through the ocean one day when they hit a tug. There is a man and dog on the tug that need a ride back to the shore. How will they get the tug back to the shore? Do you think Bud can help? You will need to read your book to find out what happens. I want you to partner up and take turns reading by pages. So if Jane(any student) is my partner and I read page 1 then Jane will read page 2.  I am going to walk around while each of you read so I can see what happens to Bud too!

Now that everyone has read Bud the Sub I want you to write me a sentence telling me how the tug got back to the shore. Remember to use good words with /u/ in them and be sure your 'u' starts at the fence, swings down to the sidewalk, and curls back up to the fence again but further down!

Assessment: I will be able to make miscue notes and take brief running records to determine the progress and individual comprehension of the correspondence. Immediate assessment should help me to provide immediate additional instruction where needed.


Abby Watt's "U-u-u-u, I'm Confused!" - http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/catalysts/wattsbr.html

Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About Print. Illinois. 1990. 148 pages.

Cushman, Sheila. Bud the Sub. California. 1990.

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