The Clueless U

Andrew Brown

Beginning Reading Lesson


Mouth is open tongue is down

Rationale:  this lesson will help children identify /u/ phoneme represented by u.  students will learn to recognize /u/ in spoken words by learning meaningful representation (chin rub uh?) and the letter symbol U.  Students will learn to recognize this symbol and its corresponding pattern by practicing aloud and with a written assessment at the end.

Materials:  primary paper and pencil: chart with Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.  Cue cards with the words PLUNK, CRUST, SUNK, SPUD, SPIT, and SAT.  Assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /u/.

Procedures:  1.) Say:  the hardest part about the English language is reading the symbols.  The letters stand for mouth movements we use when we say the words.  To master this we need to be able to distinguish the mouth movements

2.) Let’s pretend to be clueless and put our hands to our chins /u/ /u/ /u/.  [raises hand to chin].  When we say /u/ our mouth is open and tongue is down and we blow out air slowly.  Do it with me /u/. 

3.) Let me show you how to find /u/ in the word club.  Listen to me stretch out club really, really slowly.  Listen for the clueless /u/. Ccc-l-u-u-b  slower this times.  Cccc-lll-u-u-u-ubbb. Did you feel your mouth drop open when you said the clueless /u/ right in the middle of the word club.

4.) Let us try a tongue twister now. [written on the chart] Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.  Now let’s say it again together and stretch out the /u/ you hear at the beginning of the words. Uuuuncle was uuuuuupset because he was uuuuuunable to put his uuuuumbrella uuuuup.  This time, separate the /u/ sound from the beginning of the word and make the clueless gesture when you say it.  Try it now: /u/ ncle was /u/ pset   because   he   was   /u/   nable   to   put   his /u/ mbrella  /u/ p. 

5.) Alright everyone let’s see if you can tell me which words have the /u/ sound.  Do you hear the /u/ sound in bug or bag?  Jump or fly?  Lie or lunch?  Stand or stump?  Good now if you hear the /u/ sound in the word I say make the clueless /u/ movement.  Dump, hop, fly, stung, bunch, grab, spud.

6.) Good now lets look at the book.  Can you think of any words  with the clueless /u/ sound?

7.) Show the word dunk and model how to do a letter box lesson.  The word is dunk.   d-uuuu-nk, dunk.  /d/  …. That’s a D.   /u/  /u/ /u/  That’s my clueless U.  /n/ /n/  ok N.  /k/ k/ ok that’s my K sound.  DUNK  dunk.  Now you try some. PLUNK, CRUST, SUNK, SPUD, SPIT, SAT

8.) For the assessment distribute the worksheet that deals with words having the /u/ sound. 

Dr. Murray, Bruce, The Reading Genie, Mouth Moves and Gestures,

Jenille Foukal

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