Yuuuck a Buuug

Beginning Reading

Sharly Citizen



Rationale: The goal for this lesson is to learn the short vowel u=/u/. Short vowels are essential in the beginning stages of reading. The goal of this lesson is for children to recognized the u=/u/ sound. Also, read words containing the short u=/u/ sound. They will use the picture of the baby making the "yuck" face to represent the sound the short u makes. A letterbox lesson and decodable text will be used.


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

·         Image of a "yuck face" (see above picture)

·         Letterbox (class set

·         Letterbox tiles/ paper letter tiles (class set; u,p,f,n,c,t,b,s,j,m,r,k,)

·         Letterbox overhead

·         Dry erase boards (class set)

·         Dry erase markers (class set)

·         Assessment Sheet while others are reading

·         Napkins

·         Cover ups

·         Short U Word list

·         Paper

·         Pencil



1.      "Today we will learn what sound the letter u makes. The u= /u/. Can you say /u/?"  The student will repeat the sound the short u makes. Learning u=/u/ will be beneficial for children when decoding new words. "Have you ever tasted something you didn’t like? The student will tell me some of the gross things he or she has tried before. After 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." I will stress the /u/ when I say the any word with /u/. "When I eat something nasty, I squint my eyes and open my mouth to say ‘yuck.’" I will demonstrate as I am explaining and also show them the picture. "Now it’s your turn to make your best yuck face." The children will practice the face while saying yuck, stressing the /u/.

2.      "I will now teach you a tongue tickler. I will say it, and then you will say it after I am done. You do not have to say it fast. It is okay to make a mistake, but our goal is to say it 3 times in a row without messing up!  Also, remember to make your "yuck" face when you hear /u/. Uncle Ub is utterly upset.

3.      After the children starts to get the hang of the sound, I will assess them by recording their phonemic awareness with the sound.  As I read the words, they will pick 1 for the first choice or 2 for the second, since they might not be able to spell yet. They will write their choice on a dry erase board. I will then write down the ones that may miss a word. This will allow me to keep track of the children struggling and give me information on what I can work on with them. The object of this assessment is to know if I should spend more time on the /u/ or move on to reading.

a.       Do you hear /u/ in cup or sip

b.      Do you hear /u/ in truck or track

c.       Do you hear /u/ in rabbit or bunny

d.      Do you hear /u/ in tub or tube

e.       Do you hear /u/ in lick or luck

As the child is answering I will be taking notes on his or her answers. I will go over any missed words and stress the /u/ in those words. I will spend time helping the child recognize the /u/ if he or she is struggling. If they are proficient at hearing the /u/ we will move on to spelling words with the /u/ sound using the letterboxes.

4.      Each child will have his or her own letterbox along with tiles or paper letter tiles. I will model how the letterbox lesson works first by showing them on the overhead projector and modeling how to place the letters in the boxes. Next, I will conduct the letterbox lesson as if I were doing it one on one. For instance, the word up, I would say "up, The balloon went up to the clouds." Then each child will place the letters on their boxes. After everyone is finished, or the majority in case some are struggling, I will demonstrate the correct way on the projector for everyone to see. They can check their work or fix any mistakes. I will be able to work more thoroughly with the strugglers in a smaller setting.

5.      Next we will read Fuzz the Buzz (Educational Insight, 1990) in small groups while the others work on a worksheet that assesses their understanding of u=/u/. I will start off by giving the children a book talk. "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." We will then read the book to find out what happens. "Every time we hear the /u/ you will make a "yuck" face like you did earlier. You do not have to say "yuck" but I want to see your "yuck" face." If the child is reading well and getting the /u/ we will continue to read without making the faces. The "yuck" face will be one way of assessing if the child is hearing the sound or not. Coverups will be helpful for the children who might struggle with some of the words.

6.      As the children are reading, the others will be working on an assessment sheet that will have them write the words of the pictures with u=/u/ sounds. For example there will be a word bank of some of the u=/u/ pictures. The children will only write the words under the picture that have short u. If there was a picture of a cup, the children would find cup from the word bank and write it under the picture, but if the picture was of a cloud, they would leave the blank empty.



Parker, Jessica: Fuzz Gets an Unpleasant Buzz!


Fuzz the Buzz, Educational Insight 1990


Murray, Geri: Constructing BR lesson Design








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