“Yummy in my Tummy”

Stacy Snyder
Beginning Reading Design

Rationale:  Beginner readers need to be taught how to break up the alphabetic code in order for them to learn how to read.  They need to learn about phonemes and how phonemes are sounds that our mouths make when we talk.  They also need to understand the connection between phonemes and letters.  Beginner readers need to be able to identify the sounds that each letter makes.  By learning about phonemes and letter correspondences, beginning readers can become fluent readers.  Short vowels are extremely important and sometimes can be very difficult to learn.  This lesson will help children identify the correspondence is u- /u/, one of the short vowels.  They will learn to recognize /u/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /u/ in words.



-         Poster with a person on it with a big tummy.

-         Picture card, including pictures and words with velcro on them.  Words: up, rub, mud, bug, hug, stung, tummy, plunge, smudge, cat, dot, yard, tooth, frog, six

-         Chart with tongue twister on it: The mud pie is yummy in my tummy.

-        primary paper and pencils

-        assessment sheet letterboxes with at least five boxes (words- rub, tug, tummy, smudge)

-        Book, “Yummy, Yummy” (Judith Grey 1981).

-        Letter card with single u on it

-        Letter boxes for each student including 5 boxes

-        Letter tiles with lower case letters on them. Letters: m, u, d, g, t, s, m, g, d, e, d, u, p, m, j, y.

-        Picture page with pictures of /u/ words and other letter.


Procedure: 1. Introduce the u = /u/ correspondence and how to spot it in written text. Today we are going to work with the letter u in written text (hold the letter u card for the students to see). The letter u makes the /u/ sound. How does our mouth move when we say /u/? Our mouth is open and our tongue stays still. This is like the sound you hear when you rub your tummy and say yummy.  Everybody practice making the /u/ sound and rub your tummy with me.

2. To practice recognizing the /u/ in written text I will pass out the picture cards to the students.  They will then decide if they hear the /u/ sound.  If they do they will but the word on the poster of the person on it.  The person will have a huge tummy and the students will put the /u/ words in the tummy.  The students that receive words with other sounds will discard them at the bottom of the poster.

3. Now I want us to practice saying our funny sentence together. The mud pie is yummy in my tummy. Say it together several times. Now, I want you to say our tongue twister, but let’s stretch out the /u/ sound: The muuuud pie is yuuumy in my tuuuumy. Rub on your tummy when you hear the /u/ sound.

4. Draw Elkonin letterbox on the board for teacher use during this portion of the lesson. Make sure that each student has a letterbox with his or her own letter tiles. Ask the students to make sure that each student’s tiles on lower-case side up. We are going to practice spelling words with the /u/ sound. Look at the board and notice that I have two boxes drawn—this is for two mouth movies.  I am going to spell the word up. The first box is for the first sound in up, which is the /u/, which is like when we rub our tummy. The second box is for the /p/. Now you are going to practice with the following words: {3}mud, tug, rub, bug  {4} drum, jump stung, tummy; {5}plunge, smudge . Make sure that each time the number of phonemes changes that the students are prompted to open their letterbox up by one more box. (A review word should be included.)

5. Next, I will write each word from the letterbox lesson on the board one at a time. I will model for the students how to read the words written up on the board. We are going to read the word mud. Let us start with the /u/, next let’s add the /m/--/mu/. Say it together. Now let’s add the last /d/ - /mud/. Our word is mud. Then I will call on one student to read the word, then have the class repeat the word as a group.

6. The students will be placed in small groups to read the book Yummy, Yummy (Grey 1981). Book talk: The Hippo loves to bake cakes.  She loves to bake apple, carrot, honey and chocolate cakes.  One day she decided that she wanted to make a cake including all of these ingredients.  To find out if the cake turns out or not, you must read the book.



- Students will be provided a picture page where they should circle the pictures with the /u/ sound.

-While students work in their small groups I will be observing and taking running records as they read.  I will then walk around and observe the students and ask them questions about the picture page.  “Which picture do you hear the /u/ sound? Show me what you do when you hear the /u/ sound.  I will model rubbing my tummy.



Grey, Judith. (1981). Yummy, Yummy. Troll Associates. Mahwah, New Jersey.

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

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