Yuuuck a Buuug!

By: Katie Wilcox

Rationale: The goal for this lesson is to learn the short vowel u=/u/. Short vowels are very important to learn because this vowel can be very complicated and can sometimes confuse the students when they are learning. The goal of this lesson is for the students to be able to pick out the vowel u=/u/ in the words. They will use the picture of the child making a “yuck” face in order to recognize the vowel in words that we go over and will be able to picture it. A letterbox lesson and decodable text will be used to help the student be able to read words with u=/u/. The overall goal of this lesson is to read words with the short vowel u and have the students be able to recognize it in other books.


·         Fuzz and the Buzz (Educational Insight, 1990) (enough for small group)

·         Image of a "yuck face"

·         Letterbox

·         Letterbox tiles/ paper letter tiles Letterbox overhead

·         Assessment Sheet while others are reading

·         Cover ups

·         Short U Word list

·         Paper

·         Pencil


1.      "Today we will learn how to read and spell words with letters with u=/u/. Can you say /u/?"  The student will repeat the sound the short u makes in order to hear what it sounds like and so they are familiar with it. " I will ask, "what do you say when you do not like something?" We will discuss some of the answers. "I usually say YUCK!" "Yuck has the /u/ sound that we will be learning today." When I am discussing the word yuck with the child, I will make sure the student picks up on the /u/ sound. "When I eat something that I think is gross, I squeeze my eyes shut and open my mouth to say ‘yuck.’" After I tell the student my description of what I do when I think something is gross, I will demonstrate to the student what my face looks like. "Now it’s your turn to show me your best yuck face.” Then, the student and I will practice saying the phoneme /u/ while making our yuck faces.


2.      I will give the student their own letterbox and their tiles. I will first model to them how to do the letterbox lesson with the /u/ letters. I will say: “We are going to practice spelling words with the /u/ sound.  Look at the board and see which phonemes are in each word.” First we will do a 3 letterbox lesson with the word cup. I will demonstrate how to separate the different phonemes, first /c/, then the phoneme /u/, and finally /p/. I will ask them which of those sounds makes the “yuck” face. After they’re finished, if they are struggling with some words, we will go back through all the words that they got wrong.


3.      Next we will read “Fuzz the Buzz” (Educational Insight, 1990) first and then I will give them a worksheet that assesses their understanding of u=/u/. I will start off by giving the children a book talk about “Fuzz the Buzz.” "Fuzz and the Buzz is about a bear who is hunting for nuts. The bear finds a tree and decides to shake it to see if some nuts fall out." Will he find the nuts? We will see! "Remember, whenever we hear the /u/ sound, we make our yuck face that we just practiced. But, we do not actually say the word ‘yuck’ but we do the yuck face.” Throughout the story, if the student is starting to understand the concept behind the “yuck” face, then we will start to not do it anymore to see if the student will understand it. Coverups will be available for the student just in case they are having trouble with some words.


4.      After reading the book “Fuzz the Buzz”, we will then be working on an assessment sheet that will have them write the words of the pictures with u=/u/ sounds. The assessment sheet will have a word bank with /u/ words that the students should be able to understand. The children will only write the words under the picture that have short u. This will be a great way to assess the children on if they fully understood the sound /u/.



Sharley Citizen , Yuuuck and Buuug, Fall 2012 Auburn Univesity. http://auburn.edu/~sac0012/citizenbr1.htm

Cushman, Sheila. "Fuzz the Buzz", Educational Insight 1990

Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/learning-letters/u2.htm

Murray, Geri: Constructing BR lesson Design

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