Uhhh, Do I Remember!


Beginning Reading

Allison McDonald


Rationale:  It is so important for children to be able to recognize letter-sound correspondences for their future reading success.  When children can achieve this goal, they will have success in decoding, reading and reading comprehension.  Helping children understand the letter-sound correspondence of vowels is very important, so today we will learn the correspondence u=/u/.  They will learn this correspondence through learning a memorable sound and motion, and practice with reading and spelling.  This will help the students become more familiar with this correspondence in their reading and writing.





1.  Introduce the lesson, “Today we are going to continue learning about the sounds that letters make, by learning that the short vowel sound u says /u/.”


2.  Write a u on the board and ask students what letter it is and what sound it makes.  If they do not say u=/u/, explain “Vowels are sometimes very funny letters, they like to say two sounds, u does say /U/, but it also says /u/.  Ask students:  “Remember a time that you had to think about something and you said out loud /u/, while you were thinking to yourself.  Everyone put their finger to their forehead like they are thinking and say /u/.  Good Job!  So today let’s think real hard when we have to say the /u/ sound or if we see the letter u.”


3.  “Now I want everyone to listen as I read this tongue twister, Up under the umbrella sat an ugly duck.  Ok, I want you to say it with me as I point to the words.  Good Job!  Now when we say it again, I want all of you to clap when you hear the /u/ sound.  That was wonderful!”


4.  “Everyone please take your letterboxes and letters out, so we can have fun learning about the letter u and the sound it makes /u/.  Who can tell me why we have the boxes for our letters?  That’s absolutely right, we use the boxes to know how many sounds are in the words.  Please look up here at the overhead projector, while I show you an example.  I have three boxes out, so I know that there are going to be three sounds in my word.  The word I want to spell is cut, alright I hear /c/ /u/ and /t/.  Ok that is c in the first box, u in the second box, and t in the third box.  Ok, I spelled cut.  I want you to use the letters you have in front of you to spell these words for me.  Everyone open your boxes to three squares.”  The words are sun, duck, nut, run, and tug.  “Now let’s try two four box words.  They are punt and bump.  Good job on all of your spellings!”


5.  “Now when I hold up these words, I want you to say the words quietly to yourself, and think if they have the /u/ sound in them.  If they do, put your finger on your head like you are thinking, and if they don’t sit very quietly.”  The words on the cards are:  nuts, dog, sun, buzz, cat, bug.  “Good job everybody!”


6.  “I would like for everyone to take their Fuzz and the Buzz book out, and read it quietly to themselves.  When you are done you can take your paper and pencil out and write or draw a picture about the book.”


7.  “Everyone is now going to get a sheet that has pictures on it.  Look at the pictures and say what it is, if you hear a /u/ sound in the word, then color the picture, if not do not color the picture.”  The pictures are rug, cup, pin, man, sun, tub, car.


8.  While children are doing there picture worksheet, have children come up individually and do one minute reads with them to assess their reading.



Amy Bright, Olly says /o/ at the Doctors



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

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