"Uhhh…I Don’t Know!"

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

Cabray Rauschenberg

Rationale: This lesson will help teach beginning readers the short vowel sound of u. Students will learn to recognize the phoneme sound of /u/ when they hear it and associate the sound to "Uhhhh I don’t know" with the gesture of looking confused with a finger on the chin. They will also learn how to write and read it.


Picture of u=/u/ http://blog.seniors-site.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/10/confused-face.jpg
Primary paper (1 for each student)
A letterbox strip for each student
The letters c, l, u, b, n, h, g, s, e, n, d, t, r, t, o, m, p for each student
Overhead projector or Smart Board
Worksheet of matching words with pictures (1 for each student)


1. Write u on the board. Ask students: "What letter is this? That’s right, its name is U. It makes the /uh/ sound like ‘uhhh…I don’t know!’" Demonstrate action by looking up with a confused face and placing finger on chin. Show class a picture of it. "Today, we are going to learn to recognize the /uh/ sound whenever we see."

2. Ask: "Can everyone do it with me? Uhhh…I don’t know!"

3. Say: "I’m going to say a tongue twister that has the u sound throughout it. So listen carefully for it. ‘Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.’ Now I’m going to repeat it and make our /uh/ action when I hear in the sentence. ‘Uuuuuncle was uuuuupset because he was uuuunable to put his uuuuumbrella uuuuup.’"

4. "Now I want everyone to say it with me as a say the sentence and do out /uh/ action. ‘Uuuuuncle was uuuuupset because he was uuuunable to put his uuuuumbrella uuuuup.’"

5. Say: "Next I am going to say two words at a time, and I want you to listen for the u sound and tell me which word has it." I will demonstrate with bug/fly. Then ask the rest for the class to answer. Words to use: car/truck; leap/jump; brunch/food; swum/ran

6. Give each student a piece of primary writing paper. Model how to write the letter u. "Start at the fence and swoosh (dip) it down from the fence to the sidewalk, and then go right back up to the fence. Then complete it by drawing a straight line down to the sidewalk." Allow students a minute to practice while you walk around observing and offering assistance where needed.

7. Give each student their own letterbox and only the letters that they will need for the letterbox lesson. I will give the words for various number of phonemes-starting with three and working up to six. With each word, I will give a sentence with the word in it. I will walk around and assist students as I slowly repeat each word. Once students placed the correct letters on the boxes, I will call on a student who volunteers to demonstrate the correct letters inside the boxes on the overhead.

Before they start, I will model how to sound out and place phonemes for the class with the word: crunch.
Words for letterbox lesson: 3) bug; 4) club, lunch, send (review); 5) trust, stomp (review), scrub; 6) scrunch

8. Write each word on the board (1 at a time) and have class read it aloud.

9. "Next we are going to read a book. It’s called Bud the Sub. Bud is a submarine. He and his driver save broken boats. They go to help a tug boat that hit something. Will they make it in time? Will they able to pull him to safety? We’re going to read the story to find out!"
    "As we read, I want everyone to raise their hand whenever they hear the /uh/ sound during the story."

10. Our final activity will be to complete a worksheet. On one side, there will be several words with "u" in it such as bug, nut, drum, lunch, mug, crust, plum. The other side will have pictures of each of these items. Students will draw lines to connect the words to the pictures. I will model this by matching the first word with the correct picture with them. Then let them complete the last six on their own.



Guyton, Katie. "Under the Umbrella".  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/guytonbr.html
Swanson, Katie. "Uncle’s Umbrella". http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/swansonbr.html

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