Uhhh--I don't know with U


Beginning Reading

Beth Crenshaw


Rationale: In this lesson, it will help students identify /u/, the phoneme represented by U. Students will be learning to recognize /u/ in spoken language by learning a representation of the letter (thinking look with a finger on your chin) and the symbol U. The lesson will focus on the mouth moves the sound makes when speaking, spelling and reading words with the phoneme /u/ through a letterbox lesson, and lastly reading a new book. Students will need to work on decoding, crosschecking, and phoneme recognition.



Chart paper with tongue tickler on it: Uncle Umbrella went under the rug to the bathtub. Letterboxes and letters for word list (u, p (2), h, g, b, a, t, w, e, r, i, o, l, c, k) for each student. Word list: 2 [up], 3 [hug, bat, wet] 4 [trip, bolt, pump, truck]. Copies of "Bud the Sub" for every student in the class (Phonics Reader, Educational Insight). Document camera or projector. Pencils and primary paper for each student. Picture with "Uhhh I don't know" for reference /u/ (accessed from Reading Genie website). Assessment worksheet for each student (see attachment for example).



1.  Today we will be learning about the letter /u/ and the sound it makes. The letter u makes the sound "uhhh" (placing your finger on your chin like you are thinking of an idea). Ask: Can you do it with me? Make the sound too: Uhhhh. What is your mouth doing when you are saying "uhhh"?


2. Show the "Uhh..I don't know" picture to the class through a document camera or projector. Remember this picture when we see /u/ in our words or hear that sound. Let's try Uhhh with our new picture. Uhhhh--great! Now I'm going to show you a funny sentence (on chart paper) which will help you remember the sound /u/ makes. I am going to say the sentence first: Uncle Umbrella went under the rug to the bathtub. I will slow it down this time and make sure you listen for the uhhhh sound in the sentence: Uuuunncleee Uuuummmbreellla went uuuunnddeerr the rrruuugg to the baaatthhtttuuuubb. Did you hear the uhh sound in the sentence? Now, as a class, we are going to read the sentence together. When we are reading, and we hear the uhhhh, slow down the word and put your finger on your chin like you are thinking very hard. Uuuuncle Uuuumbrella went uuuunder the ruuug to the bathtuuub.


3. Now, I need you all to listen closely.  I am going to say two words and I want you to tell me which word has the /u/ in it. MOP or CUT? PAR or BUT? TRUST or VEST? JOLT or TUCK? PLUM or CAST? We had very good listening ears for that uhhhh in those words!

Now we are going to use our pencils and paper to practice writing U. Pass out paper and pencils. I want to make sure everyone knows how to write the letter u, and I am going to show you how to write it first. After modeling the writing of u, encourage the class to write it with you. We are going to start at the top of the fence post, and I want to see everyone's pencil there. Now we are going to curve around back to the fence post making sure we touch the sidewalk, almost like we are writing an 'o'. But instead of making a circle, we are going to come back down to the sidewalk to make a line. After we get back to the sidewalk, we will curve out a little to make the curl at the very end of the u. Now I want to see everyone's 'u's'. Evaluate student writing of the letter, and model through the steps again if necessary. Now that they know how to write the letter u, they can make a connection to the sound u makes.


4. Letterbox lesson: Now that we know what the sound /u/ makes, I will give each one of you a letterbox and letter tiles. I do not want you to start working with them until I ask you to do so. I will first show you how to use the tiles and letterboxes. I am going to model how to spell a hard word, but before I do, I want to remind you: when we spell a word in the boxes, we don't always put one letter in each box. Sometimes we have letters that make the same sound and have to stay together, for example ch or ck. We have to know the sounds of many letters to understand how to use the letterboxes, so it can be hard, but I know you can do it! Each phoneme goes in an individual box, through projecting your own letterbox on the projector and showing the students. I am going to show you how to use your letters and letterbox to spell lunch. Lllluuunnnnchhh. I hear llllll in the word, so I am going to pick that letter up and put it into a box. Uuuu I hear that vowel, so I'm going to place that with l. Nnnnn, that is another letter I hear in the word. The last letters I hear are cccchhhh, c and h. Now that I have all the letters I need, I am going to use my letterboxes to place the letters in the right box. There will only be four boxes, demonstrate to students how ch go together, but the rest of the letters are in their own box.  Now that I have shown you how to use the letterboxes and letter tiles, I am going to ask you to spell some words. I will tell you how many letterboxes you need for each word. Also, some words will be words with another vowel than /u/. (Word list: up, hug, bat, wet, trip, bolt, pump, truck) Observe students working through each word that is given.


5. After spelling all of the words on the word list, I will write each of these words on the board and I will ask the students to read them out loud, writing one word at a time so the students read and say the word at the same time.


6. We are going to continue working with /u/ by reading a book called "Bud the Sub." Each of you will get your own copy of the book to read, but before you get your books, I am going to tell you a little bit about the book.  Bud and Gus love the water. Bud is a submarine, a long tube that moves under the water's surface. Bud loves to swim in the water all day long, but before he can Gus has to get Bud set up. One day Bud and Gus find a tugboat that hit a huge chunk of ice, but what will happen to Bud and Gus? What will happen with the tugboat that crashed? Will the tugboat be rescued? You will have to read the book to find out what happens! Now I will pass out the books and you may begin reading. I will go throughout the room to have students softly read a few sentences to me, and I will informally assess their recognition of words.


7. Assessment: I am going to assess the children's learning of /u/ through observing their spelling during the letterbox use and the completion of the worksheet. The main form of assessment that students will complete is reading. Students will read through 'Bud the Sub' individually, while I individually have students softly read through a few sentences so that I can informally evaluate their sight word recognition. Through this lesson, I will have an understanding of the students' comprehension of /u/.



Lesson ideas:

Ballard, Brittany; Uhh--I Need an Umbrella!!: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/journeys/ballardbr.htm

Dansak, Sarah; Uhh, Ulsa's Umbrella is Ugly! : http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/journeys/dansakbr.htm

 Reading in this lesson can be accessed through Phonics Readers, Educational Insight).


Return to Realizations Index.