Uhhh, I'm Confused!
Maggie Saye
Beginning Reading Plan

Rationale: Students must learn how to identify letters with their vocal gestures and sounds before being able to become readers (phonemic awareness). Short vowels are very hard for students to learn and are arguably some of the most important correspondences for children to master. They appear often in their readings and must be mastered before long vowels and irregular correspondences are taught. By learning that short U says /u/, (u=/u/), students will be able to read short U words with more accuracy and those words will eventually become part of their sight vocabulary. Students will learn how to identify the short U sound in words by learning a visual and oral representation of the sound, practicing printing the letter U, identifying the short U sound in spoken words provided by the teacher after a word is modeled for them and will practice how to identify the short U sound in written words by reading a book together with a partner (each reading every other page), and will practice finding the /u/ sound by completing a picture worksheet in which they circle the pictures that represent words with the short /u/ sound.

Materials: Enlarged picture of a person looking confused and saying 'Uhhhh'� and 'U says /u/'� on white butcher paper on the board, a poster taped to the board with the tongue twister, 'Uncle was upset when he was unable to put his umbrella up'�, primary paper and pencil for each student, dry erase board and markers for teacher to print u on board for modeling, a baggie for each student with letterboxes and the letters they will need (c, d, g, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, and u).We will complete the following words in our class LBL: sun, cup, jug, pup, jump, drum, truck, and plum, the book students will read in pairs, Bud the Sub, and a picture worksheet in which students identify which of the following words have the /u/ sound in them: bus, six, umbrella, music, cup, hat, jump, pumpkin, sun, four, lollipop, plane, butterfly, one-hundred, fan, unicycle, tooth, frog, truck, stapler, jellyfish, drum, fish, and numbers.

1) First, I will explain to the students that words are made up of letters. These letters create different sounds and when put together, create words. Learning the sound that each letter stands for is important because they help us to become good readers. I will explain, "One sound that can be found in words is /u/. The sound /u/ is made by the letter U when it is a short vowel. Today we will be learning about the letter U and how to recognize words in which the letter U makes the /u/ sound (u=/u/). After we can recognize U as /u/ in spoken words, we will learn how to read u=/u/ in written word through a book."
2) Next, I will say to students, "We can hear the /u/ sound in lots of words. One way I remember the /u/ sound is when I get confused. See the man in this picture? His name is Hugo. He is confused while he is reading the paper and says "Uhh". Can everyone say that with me? (Wait for students to do it with me,) "Uhh". Good! Sometimes when I get confused or don't know the answer to a question, I say "Uhh..." Has that every happened to any of you? (Wait for student response). Well when that happens to me, I often put my finger to my head like this (show them finger on temple) and say "Uhh". Can you do that with me? (Practice saying 'uh' and putting our finger on our temple) Very good! Now every time we hear /u/ in a word today I want us all to put our finger on our head and say "Uhh". This will help us remember what U sounds like as a short vowel. If you need help remembering the sound the letter U makes, look at Hugo on the board and he will remind you."�
3) I will say to students, "Now, we are going to say the tongue twister on this poster. (I will point to the poster taped on the board.) Every time you hear /u/ I want you to put your finger on your temple and say "Uhh" like we practiced, ok? I'll say it once first and then we will say it together adding the /u/'s. The tongue twister is 'Uncle was upset when he was unable to hang the umbrella up.' Now let's do it together: Uncle (Uhh) was upset (Uhh) when he was unable (Uhh) to put (Uhh) his umbrella (Uhh) up (Uhh). Very good!
4) I will say to students, "We found the /u/ sound in those words because it was the first sound in the words. For example, we knew upset had the /u/ sound in it because the first sound in the word was /u/. Now lets try to find /u/ in words where it is not the first sound. I'll show you how I find it in a word and then you will get to try one too. I will see if I can find /u/ in the word hundred by saying it very slowly and listening for the confused /u/ sound."� (I will write hundred and how I sound it out on the dry erase board with dry erase markers.) "Hundred. Hhh-uuu-nn-d-r-ed. H-uuuuuuu-nd-red There it was! H-uuu, I hear the confused /u/ sound right after the 'h' in the word hundred. Now let's try a few together. I'm going to tell you two words and you will raise your hand and tell me which word has the confused /u/ sound. Can you hear /u/ in Walk or Run? Ugly or Pretty? Gross or Yucky? Car or Truck? Bus or Van? Caterpillar or Butterfly? Pumpkin or Gourd? Skip or Jump? Sucker or Lollipop? Fudge or Chocolate?
5) I will say to students, "Now that we know how to spot the sound /u/ in words, lets review how we recognize the letter U in words. Everyone needs to get out one sheet of primary paper and a pencil. I am going to show you how I write it on the board. Then I want you to try it. I make a lowercase u by starting at the fence and going down to the sidewalk, curving back up to the fence, and going straight back down to the sidewalk (printing this as I say it on the board). So, we go down the to ditch from the sidewalk, curve up, and go straight back down (drawing it again.) Now I want you all to print your u's this way 10 times. I will walk around and help you."
6) I will then hand out a baggie to each student for our class LBL. I will say to the students: "We are going to try to arrange our words by their sounds and by the way our mouth moves and then we will be able to see the /u/ sound in the word by itself. For example (writing on board), bug. Bbbbbuuuuuuggggggg. B-u-g. I hear three sounds in that word. (Draw 3 letterboxes on the board and draw each letter as I say it and make the mouth moves in its box). B-, that's b. B-u-, then a u. B-u-g, and lastly, a g. Now let's do some together. For this word, make sure you have 3 boxes. Now everyone try the word sun."� I will walk around and see that everyone is getting it and clarifying if needed. I will continue this way for the rest of the words and tell them the number of boxes needed each time. After the students have spelled all the words, they will be given a list of the same words and asked to read them.
7) I will then place the students in pairs and give them each a copy of the book, Bud the Sub, which focuses on short u words. I will give the students a brief booktalk before placing them into pairs: "Today, you will be reading Bud the Sub with your partners. Each of you will read every other page. I will walk around and see if you need help. This book is about a sub named Bud and his boss Gus. Gus gets in Bud the Sub and they head out to sea. But, all of a sudden, Bud sees a tugboat that has crashed. Do you think Bud and Gus will help the people in the tugboat? Do you think the boat might sink? We will have to read to find out!"                                                                                    
8) After reading the book in pairs with peer and teacher scaffolding as needed, I will ask the students to return to their desks. I will hand out a picture worksheet from enchanted learning. This worksheet has picture representations of the words bus, six, umbrella, music, cup, hat, jump, pumpkin, sun, four, lollipop, plane, butterfly, hundred, fan, unicycle, tooth, frog, truck, stapler, jellyfish, drum, fish, and numbers. We will decide as a class what word the pictures represent so that there is no confusion. The students will complete the worksheet individually and without help.
9) I will assess students on their individual picture worksheet because this is the only activity they did without any help. This will show their ability to detect the short u sound (/u/) in words and will show me if they are ready to move on to a new correspondence or if they need more work with u=/u/.

1) Enchanted Learning, Short U Theme Page,
2) Cushman, Sheila. Bud the Sub. Educational Insights. Carson, CA:  1990

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