Uh Oh! An Ugly Umbrella!

Beginning to Read

Holland Stevens

Rationale: This lesson will help beginning readers to learn to spell and read words. They will learn to recognize the correspondence u=/u/ in written and spoken words. They will learn a meaningful representation and practice spelling and reading words with u=/u/ using a letterbox lesson and read a new book.


paper and pencils

Text:  Bud the Sub

3x5 cards with printed vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

Picture of a person with their finger on their chin & a puzzled look on their face

Silly Sentence: Uh oh! Uncle has an Ugly Umbrella

Letterbox squares for all the students

Letters - (u, h, g, s, b, t, g, r, n, p, m, d, c, k)

Letter u worksheet with matching


1 I will write the letter u on the board and say "This is the letter u, it says /uh/. Have you ever been unsure of an answer to a question and said¦ /uh/? Of course, we all have and that means you were making the sound that u makes. Here is a picture of the person with their finger on their chin saying /uh/ so this will help you remember that sound. Can Everyone try to make the /u/ sound with me? (help where needed!)

2. Next, I will teach them a silly sentence to help them practice saying the /uh/ sound. "Can everyone repeat this tongue twister after me? Uh oh, Uncle has an Ugly Umbrella. Good Job! Now I will show them how to use their fingers to pretend drawing the letter u in the air. I will model for them how to take their finger and swoosh (dip) it down from the fence to the sidewalk and then right back up to the fence and completing it by drawing a straight line down. This time when we say our silly sentence I want everyone to use their magic fingers and draw the letter u in the air when you say /uh/ in the silly sentence. Uh oh, Uncle has an Ugly Umbrella. Good job class! This exercise will help them learn how to write the letter u along with practicing what letter u says.

 3. Now that we all know what sound u makes, and the imaginary /u/ we drew in the air, let's see who knows what u really looks like? I will hold up cards with the individual short vowels to see if the students can now recognize the letter on their own.

4. I will now let the children practice writing the letter u since we have practiced the phoneme. Remember the imaginary /u/ that we wrote in the air? Now we are going to practice writing that letter on our paper!  I will pass out primary paper and model how to write the lowercase u on the board. First we will start at the fence and curve down to the sidewalk; we will curve back up to the fence and then straight down to the sidewalk again. I will ask them to write the letter u ten times. When we are finished, they will all say /uh/ my hand hurts now!  

5.  Letterbox lesson time! "Do you know how your mouth and lips move when saying different words? When we say /uh/ our mouth is barely open and our tongue is lowered inside our mouth."

When we say the word "truck" our mouth has four movements (one for each phoneme). For this word we will have 4 letterboxes.  I will give an example on the board to show the students how to put each letter into its own box. "Now, let's see if everyone can put the letters t-r-U-ck  into each box to make the word tug. Great job class! When needed I will help the children with other words and make sure that they understand that each phoneme is in its own box. To practice we will have other 3 and 4 phoneme words. (duck, pug, sun, tub, jump, lug, bud, sub)

 6. "Now it's time to read the story, Bud the Sub. This book will help us identify the phoneme /uh/ when reading words such as bud, sub, gus, and tugboat. Listen to the words in the title of the story, Bu-u-u-d the Su-u-u-ub. Raise your hand if you heard the letter /u/. Me too! Now let's read this  story and I want everyone to raise their drawing finger when you hear the /uh/ sound while I'm reading."

 7. To assess the children's learning of the letter u and its phoneme, students will complete an activity sheet with pictures. The pictures will be of some objects that have the letter u such as cup, jug, and butterfly as well as other objects without the letter u. The students will complete the sheet individually and by writing the letter u on top of the pictures containing the short /u/.  This will help me better understand which children know the letter u and its correspondence, and which children may need more practice


Phonics Readers Short Vowels. Bud the Sub. Carson, CA. Educational Insights.

Sharon Scyphers Uh-oh Where's Uncle Ugly?  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/scyphersbr.html

Worksheet: http://www.etap.org/demo/langart1/lak3l1_3w5.pdf

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