Uhhh, I don’t know

 Confused bear

Beginning Reading

By: Collier Daniel



In order for students to become successful readers, they must recognize letter-sound correspondences. Students must learn the letters and the sounds that correlate with the letters. In this lesson, the students will learn u=/u/. The students will understand the representation of the letter and have an ample amount of practice with spoken and written words containing u=/u/.




 1. I will introduce the correspondence u=/u/. I will explain how to find the letters in words. I will explain, “We have talked about different letters and the sounds they make. Today, we are going to learn about the letter u and the sound it makes. U says /u/. To make this sound, everyone open their mouth, make your tongue stay still and say /u/. Pretend as if you do not know the answer to a question. You are thinking and you say /u/. To help us make our sound, we are going to pretend as if we do not know the answer to a question. Let us pretend to think hard and scratch our heads. Let me see everyone say /u/ and scratch your head. Good Job!”

2.  Next, we will practice finding the letter u in written words, I will hold up cards (one at a time) with printed words. I will model how to find the sound in the word. “Do I hear /u/ in tu-u-ug or ta-a-ag? I hear /u/ in tug. Now you try. Remember to scratch your head when we hear /u/.”

3. The, pass out the primary paper and pencils (each student should receive 1 piece of paper and 1 pencil). “First we are going to practice writing u. We will start at the fence, go down to the sidewalk, and curve back up to the fence and then a straight line down from the fence to the sidewalk. Remember we do not pick up our pencils. Let’s practice a few of those.” Have student practice a line of u. “Now, I want everyone to write me a message about a bug they do not like.”

4. Next, we will practice our tongue twister. I will say the tongue twister one time through, then I will have the students say each word after me, we will review the tongue twister several times before saying the whole sentence. I will have a copy of the tongue twister written on a poster board. “Ok, now I need everyone’s eyes up here. Thank you. We are going to practice our silly tongue twister for the day. I need everyone to listen to me say it once then you will repeat after me. The bugs looked for grub under the rug. Ok now you repeat after me.” Have students repeat after you. “Good job. Now, let us stretch out the /u/ sound. Remember to scratch your head when you hear /u/. The buuugs looked for gruuub uuunder the ruuug. Good job! I liked everyone’s head scratch.”

5. I will have boxes that will serve as my elkonin letterboxes. I will attach the boxes to the board. I will also provide each student with boxes and plastic letters. First, I will explain and model what the students will be doing. “Ok, now everyone make sure your letters are lower case letters. We are going to practice spelling words with the /u/ sound. Look at your boxes. I need to see everyone’s eyes up here. I have two boxes up here so this means we are spelling words with two sounds. The first word we will spell is up. What sound do we hear first? That is right. We hear /u/. That means we will place u in the first box. What sound do we hear next in up? That is right we hear /p/ so we will put our p in the second box. Good Job class. We just spelled up. Now, I want to make sure everyone understand so we will do one more together. Now I have five boxes in front of me. How many sounds will sounds does our word have? That is right five. Ok I want to spell trust. What sound do we hear first? Good Job!” We will finish spelling trust as a class. Then, I will explain, “Now I am going to say some words and I want to you practice putting the different sounds in the boxes.” I will continue saying words, sounding them out and placing letters in the boxes. After each word, the students will wait and we will go over each word. After will practice with 3 phoneme words, 4 phoneme words and 5 phoneme words. Words listed below, review words included.

3 phonemes: cub, sun, tug, mom, tap and pig

4 phonemes: club, slug, jump, grab and bent

5 phonemes: skunk


6. Next, get the cards with words written on them. Show students the model word. “We are going to read this word tug. Start with /u/, next add the /t/-- /tu/, then we add the /g/ sound-- /tug/. Now let’s say the whole word tug.” Continue task with all word cards.   

7. Before this lesson, students will be placed into reading pairs. Complete a book talk before allowing students to divide into pairs. “Today we are going to read about Fuzz. Fuzz is a bear who likes honey a whole lot. One day while Fuzz was trying to get some honey, he gets himself into some trouble. In order to find out what happens to Fuzz, read with your partner Fuzz and the Buzz.” Each pair of students receives a book. One student will read pages 1-4 and the other will read pages 5-8. As students are reading to each other, walk around and listen to the students.

8. For the assessment, give the students a worksheet with pictures as well as a list of the names of pictures. Ask students to match the words and pictures with /u/ sound. The students may draw lines circle the pictures and words.



 Cushman, Sheila. Fuzz and the Buzz.  Educational Insights. Carson, CA: 1990.

Smith, Abby. Uh, Bugs.


Watts, Abby. U-u-u-u, I’m confused.                    


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