Comparing Words:Long i and Long u

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SWBAT sort words long i and long u words.

Big Idea

Use a challenging activity to generate higher order thinking skills in students.


5 minutes

Common Core Connection 

The Reading Foundational Skill for Phonics and Word Recognition states that students should know and apply grade level phonics skills in decoding words. In addition, RF.1.3c state that the students must learn to read words with CVe and vowels teams. So, to read the words in the sort the students have to decode CVe words, in addition the have to blend sounds to make a word. Blending sounds relates to RF1.2. As far as, RF1.3f goes the several of the words in the sort have inflectional endings. So, this lesson allows practice with inflectional endings too.

Lesson Overview

This lesson allows for the students to collaborate in heterogeneous groups: peanut butter jelly partner.  First they participate in guided practice, then they work to sort the words by vowel pattern (long i and long u), and last they generate sentences with the words.  Sorting and creating are two activities that require higher order thinking skills.  These activities help my students get a deeper understanding of the concept.

Another really helpful activity is using transitions.


I show the long u and long i activity on Starfall.  Then I tell my class that we are going to be learning to long u and long i words in sentences to day.  I ask them to repeat the goal. I can sort words with similar and different sounds.  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 and make an i. The u is two arms apart up, and the i is two arms together up. This keeps them engaged as they transition to their seats.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

I ask the students to generate some long u words at their desk.  Then they share their words with their peanut butter jelly partner. The students add the words their partner told them to their t-chart.  I ask several volunteers to tell me words they wrote.  I write them on a t-chart on the board. We do this process again for long i words.  

Then I tell the students to discuss the difference between long i and long u words. (The vowel sounds.) Two or three volunteers share.  The students then discuss the similarities in long u and long i words. (They are both long vowels.) Two or three students share. 

Partner Work

20 minutes

The students move to the center tables to sort long i and long u words (long i long u set up). They also have to label the categories.  They could choose long i, long u, yellow, or pink.  Sorting gives the students an opportunity to use their higher order thinking skills. Here is a video of the students working (long i long u).

Student Reflection

5 minutes

We meet back on the lounge area.  They work on their speaking and listening skills by presenting their word sorts to the class.  I am careful to go over the speaking and listening goals.  They need to look, listen, and think about what the speaker is saying.  I try to get one person to add to what the speaker said.  But, if they don't I model by I adding another word to the list, and using it in a sentence. I also often agree or disagree and explain why. This teaches the students how to evaluate each other.


5 minutes

The students write one word that has long u and one word with long i on a post it and place it on the Tweet Board. I make notes as they are putting their post it up so I can see who needs more work with this skill.

Then we chant three times: I can sort words with the same and different sounds.  This really helps students with remembering the lesson goal.