Watch out for that Pouch


Read and write words that have the ou vowel combination (i.e. pouch).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pouch
  • couch
  • ouch
  • slouch
  • grouch
  • crouch
  • out
  • pout
  • doubt
  • scout
  • about
  • loud
  • proud


  • Cloth Pouch Template (see below)
  • Thread cut into approximately 1 yard (to make a pouch)
  • Couch sign (see below)
  • Scout for a Pouch! target text (see below)
  • Pouch or picture of a pouch (see below)
  • Treat or some object to pull out of a pouch (e.g. cheerios, pennies)
  • --ou word cards (see below)
  • Word blending cards (see below)
  • Watch out for that Pouch! target text (see below)

State and model the objective

Make a pouch following the directions included (see below). Show the children a pouch and explain that it is a little bag that can hold things and ties at the top. Tell the children that they will scout out a pouch under a couch while they read and write words with the –ou vowel combination. Make a list of words with the –ou vowel combination: pouch, couch, ouch, slouch, grouch, crouch; out, pout, doubt, scout, about; loud, proud.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Make a pouch and watch out for the pouch
    • Help the children make a pouch by threading string through the holes cut into the circular cloth then pulling the string tight (cut out a cloth circle and thread for each child before the lesson).
    • Show the children a pouch that is not closed and bunched up.
    • Let the children put a finger in the pouch and then close the pouch (pull the strings to bunch up the closing).
    • Pretend not to be happy with the pouch and say, “Ouch! You Pouch!”
    • Pretend to pout and be a grouch because the pouch made you say, “ouch!”
    • Have the children warn others to watch out for the pouch and keep fingers out of the mouth of the pouch.
  • Scout for a lost pouch
    • Read the text Scout for a Pouch (see below) then help the children act out the story:
      • Label a chair in the room with a Couch sign then sit on the couch with your pouch.
      • Slouch down on the couch and let the pouch fall onto the floor by the couch.
      • Pretend to pout and be a grouch because you lost your pouch.
      • Scout (look) for the pouch.
      • Find the pouch and shout “I don’t have to pout! I’m not a grouch! I found my pouch by the couch!”
  • Pull a treat out of a pouch
    • Put a treat or some objects in a pouch (e.g. cheerios, pennies).
    • Tell the children that people often keep money or treats inside of a pouch.
    • Say, “I doubt that this pouch has a treat.”
    • Let the children open the pouch to check for a treat.
    • Let the children pull out the cheerios (or the objects) and count how many were in the pouch.
    • Put word cards with the –ou vowel combination in a pouch then let the children take the words out of the pouch and read them out loud.


Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Phonological Awareness
    • Word Blending:
      • With word blending cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
        • crouch --> grouch; couch --> pouch; scout --> pout; loud --> proud
        • couch --> coach; scout --> scoot
        • pouch --> pout; couch --> count
  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Watch Out for a Pouch! as a class/group.
    • Have the children raise their hands when they hear the ‘ou’ vowel combination.
    • Read the text again fading support.
    • Have the children circle the vowel combination –ou in words that make the –ou sound.
    • Have the children make a list of the –ou words from the text.
    • Repeat with the target text Scout for a Pouch.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and let them write words from dictation: Pouch, couch, ouch, slouch, grouch, crouch; out, pout, doubt, scout, about; loud, proud.
    • Engage the children in interactive writing about their experience. Review target words and phrases from the activities then present sentence frame, sentence completion, gestural, or question prompts incorporating target words and phrases. Provide verbal or written options if needed.
      • Examples of sentence completion prompts:
        • I made a _____ (pouch).
        • I sat on a _____ (couch) with my _____ (pouch).
        • I lost my _____ (pouch) and acted like a _____ (grouch).
        • I found my _____ (pouch) under the couch.

SEEL Target Texts

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Scout for a Pouch

I made a pouch.
I sat on a couch with my pouch.
I slouched down on the couch.
Oh no! I lost my pouch!
I pouted and acted like a grouch because I lost my pouch.
I scouted for my pouch.
I found the pouch.
I shouted out loud, “I don’t have to pout! I’m not a grouch! I found my pouch by the couch!”

Watch out for that Pouch!

Ow! Ouch!
Get your finger out!
Watch out for that pouch!



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.C: Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.