It is critical for
beginning readers to clearly understand the alphabetic principle.
Vowels are the hardest concept to learn, therefore a lot of time and
practice is necessary. This lesson is designed to have the
children recognize, spell, and read words that contain the
correspondence u=/u/. The
students will learn
meaningful representation of the letter and have plenty of practice
with written and spoken words which contain u=/u/.
-Primary paper and
"Under the Umbrella Umma
sits on a rug."
for each child: h, u,
f, z, z, l, g, c, b, m, o, s, n, m, a, t, p, i, g, p, k
-Cards with words
on them: fuzz, mom,
cat, hug, hum, sun, cub, pig, up
-Fuzz and the Buzz (Educational
rug, bee, sub, drum,
1. Introduce the u=/u/ correspondence and
explain how to find
it in words. "Today we are going to find the letter u (write u on the board).
The letter u makes the /u/ sound.
Watch how my mouth
moves when I say the letter u. Now, you watch
each other say the
sound and see the mouth moves made. (Have the students do this for
about one minute.) This is like the sound we make when we see our
balloons going u-u-up in the sky. When we say the /u/ sound
everyone point uup uup uup like we are watching our balloons drift away.
2. To practice
recognizing letter u in written text, I
will hold up two cards
at a time. (One with a u word and one with a
different vowel, ex:
cat and fuzz.) Model how to find the word with the /u/ sound. "I
head /u/ in fu-u-uzz, not ca-a-at. I found the /u/ in fuzz
(point up). Now you try!" Ask the studetns which word
contains the /u/ sound. Tell them to point up when they hear the
/u/ sound in the words.
3. "Now, lets
practice saying a funny
tongue twister together. Under the umbrella Umma sits on a
rug." Say it together several times. "This time lets stretch out
the /u/ sound and point up when we hear the sound. Uuunder the
uuumbrella Uuuma sits on a ruuug."
4. Draw the
Elkonin letterboxes on the
board for teacher use during this part of the lesson. Give each
student a letterbox and letter tiles. Tell the students to turn
the letterbox tiles on the lower case side. "We are going to
practice spelling words with the /u/ sound. Look at the board and
see how there are two spaces for two mouth moves. Right now, I am going
to spell the word up. The first box is for the first sound
in up, the /u/. Remember how the /u/ sound makes a tugboat horn
sound. The second box is for the second sound, the /p/. Now, you
can practice with the following words: (3)-cub, sun, mom, pig, cat,
hum, hug. (4)-fuzz. (5)-plunk." Have the students do it at
their desks at the same speed you do it on the board. Say the
word, count the sounds, make the number of boxes on the board, and have
the students tell you the sound they hear.
5. Get out the
letterbox words that
are written on cards. Show students the model word. "We are going
to read the word cub. Lets start with the /u/, now lets add the
/c/ - /cu/. Say it together. Its time to add the last sound /p/ -
/cup/. Now, lets say the whole word cup." Continue doing this
with all the words from the letterbox.
6. The students
will be placed in
pairs to read Fuzz and the Buzz.
Book talk before splitting the
class up: "One day Fuzz the cub leaves his mom to find nuts on
trees. He finds them but also some scary bees. The lees
buzz around Fuzz. Lets read the book to find out if Fuzz gets
away safely." Give one book to each student. Listen and
walk around while the students read the book to each other.
7. Say to
students: "Write a message
about your favorite animal that lives in the woods. Try to write
some words in your message that have a u in them.
Remember that when we make
the letter u
start at the fence and
draw down to the sidewalk, curve over, and back up to the fence.
Now, without lifting your pencil, you should draw a straight line back
down to the sidewalk."
Assessment: Give the students
a picture page where they should circle the pictures with the /u/
sound. While they are working on the picture page ask for
individual students to come up and read their messages to you.
This will let you know if they truly understood the correspondence.
Shelia. Fuzz and the
Buzz. Educational Insights: Carson, CA, 1990.
Jackson, Maria. Balloons Go Up Up Up
in the Sky.
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