Pamela Bailey

Uhh, I don't know

By Pamela Bailey
Beginning  Reading

Rationale: Children need to learn that vowels represent phoneme (sounds) and that phoneme and grapheme are related to each other. Students can become great spellers if they realize grapheme and phonemes work in relationship with one another. It is hard sometimes for students to grasp the concept of short vowel sounds, but when vowels are put with a picture and phonemes (sounds) then it easier for the students to grasp. The goal of this lesson is help students identify the u=/u/ correctly and utilize in spelling correctly. This lesson will also help children identify the u=/u/correspondence in written words. The students will learn meaningful representation of u and have practice identifying written and spoken words containing the correspondence u=/u/.





Primary paper

Copy of decodable Text  Fuzz and the Buzz

Letterbox for each student (made out of multi-colored card stock)6 Boxes will be cut out 4x4 using the multi-colored card stock.

Letter tiles for each student( placed in a ziplock bag) b, c, d, f, f, g, k, l m p, r, s, t, u, i, e, n, a 

Letterbox set for teacher along with letters needed. b, c, d, f, f, g, k, l m p, r, s, t, u, I, e, n, a 

Phoneme Picture of a confused man to hand out to students.

Word cards: (duck, tug, puck, bug, club, bluff, scum, bump, crust, beg, net, sit, bad

Sentence strip displaying- "Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.

Letter u Worksheet

1. "Today we are going to learn the sound of the letter It makes the sound /uh/.  Kind of like when you don't understand something. See how this man looks confused? (Show phoneme picture).  He's saying Uhh! Can you scratch your chin, and display a confuse look on your face." (Teacher will model /u/ by scratching chin and saying the sound /u/ makes.) "Now with me I want you to say uhh, and act as if you don't understand something. That's the phoneme (sound) /u/. Good!"

2. "Now class we will practice a tongue twister that goes along with the /u/ sound." (Teacher will display sentence strip with tongue twister) "I will first read it carefully and slowly so that you can hear it. Ok, Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up." I will say this twice and then say it along with the students. "Now class we are going to say it very slowly, stretching out the uh every time we hear it. Uuuuncle was uuuupset because he was uuuunable to puuuut his uuuumbrella uuuup. Great work!"

3. "You guys did great with the tongue twister; now let's try to find the u sound in the different spoken words." (Students will listen as I say two words)  After they hear the words, they will have to tell me which of the two words contained the u sound in it.  Teacher will model the first two words. "Do you hear the u sound in:

1. under or over(teacher example 1)

2. uncle or sister( teacher example 2)

3. hut or rat

4. bush or comb

5. hug or kiss

6. up or down

7. put or look

8. stuck or slip"


Then I will tell the students that I hear the u sound in uuuunder, not over, and in uuuncle not sister. I will be sure to stretch out the u sound when giving the answer to the students. "I want you to listen carefully for the /u/ sound."  The teacher will say each word slowly and the students will listen for the u sound in the following words listed above.


4. Students will now practice spelling the words in the letterbox lesson. Before the students are given their sets of letterboxes and letters, I will model how to use the letterboxes. I will then display three boxes and tell the students that each colored box will represent a different sound, for example /s/ /u/ /d/ has three phonemes (sounds). I will say it once and then slowly stretching it out listening to the different sounds my mouth will make as I say the word sud. I will then display the letterboxes and letters. "Ok Class, I will start with ssssud, and I hear the s sound in sud so I will put the s in the first box. Now let's listen for the next sound, suuuud. There is the uh sound, which means that there is the letter u in that part of the word.  A u will be placed in the second box of the letterboxes.  Now let's listen for that last sound in sudddd. That sound is the letter d, so now I will put the letter d in the third box." Last, I will remove the boxes and then read the word sud aloud to the students. Teacher will continue with words in the letterbox lesson. (duck, tug, puck, bug, club, bluff, scum, bump, crust, beg, net, sit ,bad) I will observe for understanding to see if they are placing the letters in the letterbox lesson correctly.


6. I will then display words on the board, and allow students to read them aloud to check for pronunciation of the words, and to see if the students can read the words that they have just spelled out in the letterboxes.

7.  After the letterbox lesson the teacher will introduce the book Fuzz and the Buzz. This is a great book to get students involved in learning the letter /u/ sound. "Fuzz is a cub who runs and plays outside on a hot day.  He tries really hard to get nuts from the top of a tree, but they all fall down and bop him on his head!  With the nuts comes a mad bug!  They swarm around him and buzz and buzz.  Oh no! What will Fuzz do?  Let's read and find out!"  Have students read book to themselves or in pairs.  When everyone is finished, ask students to raise their hands if they remember any words with the /u/ sound they read in the text.  Spell the words together as teacher writes the words on the board, and the students write the words on primary paper.

8. "Now that you have all read the book at least one time I want you write me a message about how would you react if a mad bug came at you. Remember to use good words with /u/ in them and be sure your u starts at the fence, swings down to the sidewalk, and curls back up to the fence again but further down. (Teacher will model this on the board) Good!"


The teacher will observe, and evaluated during each step of the u = /uh/ lesson, the letterbox lesson, reading with a partner, and the message.  Miscues will be noted and additional scaffolding will be provided as needed.



Learning letters/short vowel sounds by Tasha and Kaitlyn

Fuzz and the Buzz educational Insights,1990

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