Long u

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SWBAT read, sort, and use long u words in a sentence.

Big Idea

A variety of strategies are used to teach students to read and use long u words.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

This lesson lays the foundation in reading and phonics that make all of the higher order comprehension lessons possible, because the students can read more of the text.  It seems like at the beginning of the year these lessons are so beneficial, since they help students learn to read.  I pace this lesson slow to develop a deep understanding of decoding skills that really teach students to read fluently.

This lesson is about decoding and teaching student similar vowel patterns, and allowing students practice with support reading new words. Understanding patterns in words is a huge help to English Language Learners, because it aid in decoding.

The standard for the lesson are RF1.3c and RF1.2a. The two big things the lessons addresses  are long u and sorting long vowels from short vowels. RF1.3c is about teaching VCe and I do this with long u. For RF1.3c we talk about the words and discuss whether they are short or long vowels and why.

Lesson Overview

In the guided practice the students generate all the long u words they can think of, and in the partner work the students sort words for the long vowel pattern ue, ew, u_e, and short u(CVC). Then the create several sentences with any of the "long u" words they choose.

I have two essential management strategies that make this lesson flow. I have a video on peanut butter jelly partners: peanut butter jelly partner and transitions transition.

Introductory Activity 

I show the long u activity on Starfall, because using technology is very engaging Then I tell my class that we are going to be learning to long u words in sentences to day.  I ask them to repeat the goal: I can use long u words in sentences.  Then they tell their friend and repeat it with me.  This repetition helps them develop ownership of the lesson goal.  Telling a friend makes it personal.  

Just for fun as they go to their seats for guided practice I say make a u (make a u).  The students hold their arms up. This keeps them engaged as they transition to their seats.



Guided Practice

20 minutes

As I being I ask the students to write as many words with long u in them that they know. Now I remind the class, "Long u says it's name." Then they write the words on a piece of paper. I am actually assessing their prior knowledge. 

Next, I try to allow peer collaboration and the students share their words with a partner. They are instructed to add any words they do not have down to their list. Then we share out and I add the words to the "web" on the board. As we generate a web I discuss why the words are long or short vowel words.  We also say the beginning, middle, and ending sounds. Breaking the words down really helps students see the patterns and remember the sounds in words.

As I stand at the board and encourage discussion I am making the word web on the board, and the students are adding to their own web. I use the words on the list in the resources (practice words). I have to have a premade list, so I can remember the different words to write. This is also the list of words they get to study for the phonics test this week.  The underlined words will be on the assessment.  

Once we have about twenty words on the list, I allow them to talk to their partner about some sentences they can use with those words.  I ask volunteers to share their answer.  I write three sentences on the board.

Partner Work

20 minutes

I move them to the station tables to work in groups because first graders need to move every twenty minutes or so.  This keeps them on task.  They remain working with the same group.  

They are given a pre-cut set of words to sort. My word sorts come from David and Regina Word Sorts that a professor at Middle Tennessee State University gave me, because the Making Words Website was not accessible at the time. The words are sorted by vowel pattern, and by whether they are short or long vowel words. Then they are written on paper.  Last, the students generate sentences with the long u words.  The video in the reflection shows students working (long u).

Student Reflection

10 minutes

We go back to the lounge area and the students bring their work.  I select two or three groups to present their work to the class. This allows the students to focus on their speaking and listening skills. One Common Core shift for educators to put a focus on speaking and listening skills.  Speaking and listening are directly related to a students writing because they write just like they speak.  I try to get my students to speak in complete sentences as much as possible.

So, I say, "Sit criss cross applesauce pockets on the floor hands in our laps talking no more. Looks at the speakers eyes, think about what they are saying, and be ready to provide academic feedback."Before each speaker I say, " Speak loud." Some students have very soft voices and it takes a lot of practice to get them to talk loud. I learned this lesson the hard way on a field trip. I was like, "Why can't these presenters understand my kids?" Well, I focused in and found that they needed to speak up.


5 minutes

The students write one word that has long u on a post it and place it on the Tweet Board (Tweet). I make notes as they are putting their post it up so I can see who needs more work with this skill. As each child puts their word up I comment on it and talk a bout what I see.

Then we chant the lesson goal: I can read, sort, and use long u words in a sentence. This strategy helps students remember what we are learning.