Upside-down umbrella

Ami Young
Beginning Reading

 Phonemes are one of the most important things for children to become aware of in order to read.  Without mastering phonemes, children will be unable to read words nor comprehend the words that they are reading.  Many times, when children learn their letters and sounds, they become confused and often confuse them with other letters.  In this lesson, there will be a primary focus on the letter U Students will be able to identify letter its mouth movement, and the sound /uh/. The goal of the lesson is for children to understand the letter U and its corresponding sound.

Primary Paper
A worksheet with pictures of words that use the letter U with words bug, dug, rug,scrub, and duck, and pictures of items  that don’t use the U like dog, hog, roll, hot, and cab.
Popsicle sticks
Letter U shape on index card
Letter box squares
Letter Tiles
Book Bud the Sub

1. First, the teacher should review all of the letters and letter sounds learned prior to this lesson.  Putting the review letters on flash cards and  having the class call out the letters and sounds when shown would be a great way to review.  The teacher will then introduce the letter U and say, “Today we are going to learn the new letter U.  “Letter U is shaped like a ramp that is used to skate board on”.  The teacher will then draw letter U on the board and say “To make the letter U you start at the rooftop and go down and curve back /uh/,/uh/,up to the rooftop again”.

2. Next, have the students take out their primary paper and pencil.  “Now I want you to write your letter U.  After the students have written the letter U correctly once, have them write it ten more times for practice. Create a saying to help the children remember that letter “U' says /uh/. “ Okay boys and girls, here is a fun way to remember the letter U.  U says /uh/ , Uncle Ug’s ugly umbrella is upside-down.”

3.  After explaining to the students what the letter U sounds like, have them stretch out their new tongue twister  for letter U. “ Okay class, lets stretch out our new tongue twister! Uuuuuncle Uuuuug’s uuuuuugly uuuuumbrella is uuuuupside-down. Then, explain to the class how their lips might move when making the /uh/ sound.  “When we make the /uh/ sound, our mouth opens just a little , our tongue doesn‘t move, and then we say /uh/.”  Try this at your seat to see if our mouth’s all look the same”

4. Then, hold up some flash cards to the class with words such as cup and bog, dog and duck, top and tug.  Hold up the flash cards and ask “Which word makes the /uh/ sound, cup or bog?”  I would begin to use more advanced words such as mug and dog, tug and sob, and cub and bog.  This will help the children understand the sound in written words.

5. Next, introduce a letter box lesson. “Okay boys and girls, now that we know that U says /uh/, we are going to learn to use the sound in a letter box!” Pass out the letter box squares and letter tiles, then demonstrate how to use the letter box lesson.  “Lets look at the word duck. When we say the word duck, lets count how many times our mouth moves. /d/, /u/ /ck/, that equals three times.  So, in our first box we will put d, our second box we will put u, and the third box, we will put ck.  Since we used three boxes, this word has three phonemes.”  After the students have broken the phonemes up, they will blend the letters to for a word. We will practice a few more words such as tug, bug and jug, to ensure that they know how to use the letter boxes.  Next, I will give the students five words of their own to complete at their seats. I will use words with three phonemes(mud, tub, rub), four phonemes(truck, stuck,bump) and five phonemes(stump and scrub).

6. Next, I will have the students glue the letter U to a popsicle stick.  I will introduce the new book Bud the Sub.  Next I will say to the class, “When you hear a word that has the /uh/ sound, I want you to your letter U up really high so I can see it!”.

To assess the children and make sure that they are mastering the letter U, I will give them a worksheet with ten words on it.  I will have the students tell me the number of phonemes in each word.  This will show me that they understand the phonemes used to sound out the word.  The students will also be given an opportunity to take turns reading Bud the Sub to their partner.

Journal Author: Jamey Braswell
Title: The Tug says Uhh!
Auburn University, Lesson Designs From Pre-service Teachers, Summer 2004

Cushman, Shelia, Bud the Sub. Education Insights. Carson, CA, 1990

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