Beginning Reader Literacy Design: uh…. Bug

Beginning Reading Literacy

 Kendra White

Rationale: To become successful readers, students must learn to identify graphemes and their phonemes.  In this lesson, the children will learn the correspondence u=/uh/.  The students will learn a meaningful representation of u and have practice identifying written and spoken words containing the correspondence u=/u/.


Primary paper and pencil, White board and marker, Poster with tongue tickler: Uh, the ugly bug is up under the umbrella, Assessment: 8 x 11 sheet with picture illustrating correspondence u = /u/, List of letterbox words: 2- {up, on], 3- [cup, mud, shut] 4- [stud, blush] 5- [stump, stunt]., Letterboxes for each student, Letter tiles (one set for each student): u, p, o, n, c, m, d, s, h, t, k, b, l, t, Copy of "Fuzz and the Buzz" for each student, and one for teacher (Phonics Reader, 1990)


1.Say:  Today we are going to concentrate on the letter u. Letter u says /uh/, Have you ever seen something such as a bug and you were so scared you could not say anything and all you could say was /uh/ /uh/ /uh/… bug? -Wait for students to reply.- Well I have.  Here is a picture of a person who was scared “speechless”.

2. Say: Let’s pretend that we just saw a huge bug and all we can say is / uh /.  Let’s practice. /uh/ /uh/ /uh/. [Mimic horror] When we say /uh/ notice how the mouth is open and the tongue is down. 

3. Say: Now we are going to repeat a tongue tickler which will help with how the letter and sound is used in a sentence. “Uh, the ugly bug is up under the umbrella,”  Now I want you to say this sentence with me but drag out the / uh/ sound. Go- Uhhh, the uuuugly buuug is uuuup uuunder the uuuumbrella. Now, say it with me slowly and when you hear the /u/ sound and remember to act like you are trying to get someone’s attention while speechless when you hear the uhhh sound! !  Let's break off the uhhh sound in each of these words: /u/-h, b/u/g, /u/-mbrella, /u/-gly, /u/-p, /u/-nder.  Very good class!

4. Say: We are now going to practice writing that letter on our paper!”  I will pass out primary paper and model how to write the lowercase u on the board.  “First we will start at the fence and curve down to the sidewalk; we will curve back up to the fence and then straight down to the sidewalk again”. I will ask them to write the letter u ten times.

6. Say: I need you to listen to the words closely. I am going to say a pair of words and you tell me which one has the /u/ sound. (cup or bowl, over or under, stay or stuck, shut or open)

7. say: Now we know the sound that the u make, we are going to practice spelling some words with our letterboxes. –pass out letterboxes and letter tiles. – Now, I am going to model how to spell the word run with by placing one phoneme in each box on the letterbox drawn on the white board.  Now you are going to practice with the letterboxes. -Tell students the appropriate number of boxes to lay out with each word. – spell : up, on, cup, mud, shut, cut, stud. Now I want you to try and spell some harder words. Spell: blush, stump, stunt- Great job.

8. Now, we are going to read some words together as a class. (I will have a transparency ready with a list of the words from the letterbox lesson.)


9. To get some more practice with the letter u we are going to read the book Fuzz and the Buzz.  The book for this week is Fuzz and the Buzz . Fuzz in a cub and he loves to play. He likes to run fast and climb trees. But one day while he was in a tree Fuzz tugged at some nuts that were in the trees and the nuts hit Fuzz in the head. Fuzz also got another surprise when he tugged at the nuts. He was attacked by bees. What do you think the cub will do?  Well, you will have to read to find out what happens. (Pass out books and have students raise their hands if they need help).




As students are doing the activities described above, I will be observing them as a means of informal assessment.  For a more formal assessment, students will complete an activity sheet which will be completed individually. The students will complete the terms by writing the letter u in the blank then match the pictures to the terms. Next, the students will write the picture name and then write a sentence using the word.

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Katie Swanson. Beginning Literacy Lesson. “Uncle’s Umbrella”.

Samantha Dobbin. Beginning Literacy Lesson “ Uhh Umbrella”.