Beginner Reader Design

 “Uhhh—The Umbrella is Upsidedown!

Courtney Bass

Beginner Reader Design

Rationale: Decoding is one of the most important skills in developing skilled readers.  In order for students to learn how to decode words, they must understand the relationships between grapheme and phonemes.  In this lesson, students will learn to read words with the /u/ sound in them.  They will do this by learning a vocal gesture to represent the concept that u=/u/ (I will teach them to place their finger on their temple like they are thinking as they say /u/, as in "uhhh, I don't know", spelling words containing /u/ in letterboxes, and finally using these connections to read decodable texts containing the /u/ sound.  This will enable them to develop an understanding of the u=/u/ correspondence.



Phoneme Picture (U says /u/ picture)

Tongue Tickler: Uncle Jut  was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.

Primary Paper with Tong Tickler “

Letterbox  Tiles  (a, b, d, e, f, g, h, I, k, l, n, o, r, s, t, u)*

Letter boxes or iPad installed with the “Write on Phonics” app

Fuzz and the Buzz, Phonics Reader, 1990

Assessment worksheets


1.      Say: Today we are going to be learning about the letter u and one of the sounds that u can make.  The sound that the short u makes is /u/.  That reminds me of the sound that I make when I am trying to think of the answer to a really hard question. (Touch pointer finger to temple as if you are thinking while making the /u/ sound.)  Let's all try that together.  "Uh, I don't know."

2.      (Have tongue tickler written on chart paper so that the entire class can see it.)  Say: Now I am going to read a tongue tickler and I want you to listen very carefully for the /u/ "that's a hard question" sound.  Uncle was upset because he was unable to put his umbrella up.  Now let's say it one time together as I point to each word.  Listen very carefully for the /u/ sound as you read aloud with me.  This time, we are going to say it a little slower.  Every time that you hear the /u/ sound, I want you to show me that you're thinking (demonstrate the gesture).  Great job finding the /u/ sound and showing me that you were thinking about it!  Let's read through the tongue tickler together one more time.  This time, we are going to stretch out the /u sound when we hear it.  Uuuuncle was uuuupset because he was uuuunable to put his uuuumbrella uuuup.  I like the way that you stretched out those /u/ sounds so that I knew you were thinking about them.

3.      Now I need you to take out your letters and your letterboxes.  The letters that you need today are a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, I, k, l, n, o, r, s, t, u.  We are going to learn how to spell and read some words containing the /u/ sound.  First, we will practice spelling these words in our letterboxes.  I will demonstrate one (show your letter boxes and letters as you spell them out on the document camera), and then I am going to let you try a few.  My word has four sounds in it, so I have four letterboxes showing.  The word is lunch.  I eat lunch in the school cafeteria.  Lunch.  I am going to sound it out slowly.  Lll-uuu-nnn-ch.  I hear /l/ at the beginning, so I know the first letter is l.  I am going to put an l in the first box.  Next I hear my thinking sound, so u goes in the second box.  L-u-nnn-ch.  The next sound I hear is /n/, so I will put an n in the third box.  And the last sound I hear is /ch/.  We know that ch says /ch/, so I am going to put a ch in the last box.

4.      Next, ask the student to spell the list of words using the “Write on Phonics” app from the Apple App Store.  (tub (3), hat (3), hug (3), fog (3), duck (3), hush (3), let (3), tag (3), fund (4), gulf (4), dunk (4), and sulk (4))  Be sure that your student spells the word correctly and places the letters in the correct box. If your student does not spell the word correctly, pronounce the word they way it is spelled by the letterboxes. He/she should now be able to identify the problems in spelling, if not give the student the correct spelling. Be sure to watch those students that struggle when spelling the more difficult words because some of them are tricky

5.      Say: Everyone please put away your letterbox materials.  Now we are going to practice reading some words that we just learned how to spell.  I am going to demonstrate the word fluff.  (Put the word fluff on the document camera)  I start with the u because I know that it says /u/.  Then I am going to add the /f/ and the /l/ sound to get /fl//u/.  Now I am going to add the /f/ sound to get /fl//u//ff/.  That is how we read words that we do not know.  We start with the sound we know.  Okay, your turn.”  Put up fun, gum, nut, bat, dust, club, stump, and stamp. Any words that are difficult for the students should be read vowel first, then body, then coda.

6.      Say:  You all did so well spelling and reading the new words that we learned today.  I think you are ready to read a book with the /u/ sound in it.  The book that we are going to read today is "Fuzz and the Buzz".  (Pass out a copy of the book to every student.)  Fuzz is a bear cub looking for an adventure. He decides to run into the plays in the sun. Fuzz sees some nuts and decides that he wants a couple. He decides to shake the tree, and when he does… You’ll have to read to find out what happens after Fuzz shakes the tree. *Be sure that students know that they can raise their hand if they need help reading the story.  Also, walk around the room to monitor the students as they are reading.

7.      Assessment: The students will be evaluated on an individual basis.  They will be given a worksheet with pictures on it. Students will have to choose the correct spelling of the word out of a list of three words.


Assessment Worksheet:

Uhh—I need an umbrella Brittney Ballard: