Uh, Bugs!


Beginning Reading

Abby Smith


 Rationale:  To become successful readers, students must learn to identify letters and the sounds that those letters make. The children will learn the correspondence u=/u/.  The students will learn meaningful representation of the letter and have plenty of practice with written and spoken words which contain u=/u/.

-Primary paper and pencils for each student
-Poster with “Ursula undid her umbrella under the rain.”
-Letterboxes for each student
-Plastic letters for each child: a, b, c, d, e, f, g, i, l, n, p, s, t, u.

-Cards with words on them: up, dug, tub, cut, fun, sat, big, den, plug, blunt.
-Chalk and chalkboard
- Fuzz and the Buzz (one copy for every 2 students in the class)
-Picture page with sets of pictures. One picture that has the /u/ and one that does not. (trunk, house)

- Worksheet with words with the /u/ sound on one side and pictures of the word on the other side.


1. Introduce the u=/u/ correspondence and explain how to find it in words.  "Today we are going to find the letter u (write u on the board).  The letter u makes the /u/ sound. Watch how my mouth moves when I say the letter u.  Now, you watch each other say the sound and see the mouth moves made. This is like the sound we make when we see a bug that we want to go away.  When we say the /u/ sound everyone flick the bug away.

2. To practice recognizing letter u in written text, I will hold up two cards at a time. (One with a u word and one with a different vowel, ex: dug and bin.) Model how to find the word with the /u/ sound.  "I head /u/ in du-u-u-g-g not b-b-i-i-n-n.  I found the /u/ in dug (flick).  Now you try!"  Ask the students which word contains the /u/ sound.  Tell them to flick the bug away when they hear the /u/ sound in the words.

3. "Now, let’s practice saying a funny tongue twister together. “Under the rug my uncle saw a bug.”  Say it together several times. "This time lets stretch out the /u/ sound and flick the bug away each time you hear /u/.  “Uuuuursula uuuundid her uuuuumbrella uuuuunder the rain.”

4. Draw the Elkonin letterboxes on the board for teacher use during this part of the lesson.  Give each student a letterbox and letter tiles.  Tell the students to turn the letterbox tiles on the lower case side.  "We are going to practice spelling words with the /u/ sound.  Look at the board and see how there are three spaces for three mouth moves. Right now, I am going to spell the word sun.  The first box is for the first sound in sun, the /s/. The second box is for the second sound, the /u/. Remember how the /u/ sound makes the sound we say when we see a bug.  The third box is for the third sound in sun the /n/.  Now, you can practice with the following words: (2) - up (3)-dug, tub, cut, fun, sat, big, den. (4)-plug. (5)-blunt." Have the students do it at their desks at the same speed you do it on the board.  Say the word, count the sounds, make the number of boxes on the board, and have the students tell you the sound they hear.

5. Get out the letterbox words that are written on cards.  Show students the model word. "We are going to read the word dug.  Let’s start with the /u/, now let’s add the /d/ - /du/. Say it together.  Its time to add the last sound /g/ - /dug/.  Now, let’s say the whole word dug." Continue doing this with all the words from the letterbox.

6. The students will be placed in pairs to read Fuzz and the Buzz.  Book talk before splitting the class up: “This book is about a bear who loves honey, but this bear, while getting honey one day, gets into some trouble, to find out what happens to Fuzz you and your partner will have to read Fuzz and the Buzz.."  Give one book to each pair of students.  One child will read pages 1-4 and the other 5-8.  Listen and walk around while the students read the book to each other.

7. Say to students: " Tell me about a bug you don’t like and remember that when we are writing our u we will start at the fence, jump down onto the ground run and jump back up onto the fence and then jump back down once again” (model writing the u as you explain it).  Pass out lined primary paper for the children and give them some time to write their message.

8.  Assessment: Give the students a picture page where they should circle the pictures with the /u/ sound.  Have the children write the names of the pictures under each one after they have finished finding the /u/ sounds.     

Cushman, Sheila. Fuzz and the Buzz.  Educational Insights. Carson, CA:  1990
Homan, Amy. Umbrella Fun. .  

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