Under the Umbrella


Associate the letter U (and the lowercase u) with the short /uh/ sound (e.g., the /uh/ sound in under, umbrella, until).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • under
  • umbrella
  • us
  • uncle


  • Umbrella or umbrella graphic
  • String attached to the underside of the umbrella
  • Picture cards
  • Clothespins or paperclips to clip pictures to the string
  • Word cards
  • Under the Umbrella text

Tell the children they will put pictures of words that start with U under an umbrella. Make a list of words spelled with U such as umbrella, under, us, and uncle.

Literacy Activities
Put pictures under an umbrella.

  • Attach a string to the underside of an open umbrella or to a picture of an umbrella and put clothespins or paperclips along the string.
  • Place picture cards of words beginning with the short /uh/ sound and picture cards that do not begin with the short /uh/ sound (see below) around the room.
  • Tell the children to look at each picture and decide if each picture starts with U like umbrella.
  • When a child finds a word or picture beginning with U have him/her say, “I found an ______.”
  • Tell the children to place the picture cards under the /uh/ - /uh/ - umbrella.
  • If a child mistakenly identifies a picture that does not start with the short /uh/ sound then ask the child if the word starts with U like /uh/ - /uh/ - umbrella. You can help them differentiate the different sounds by putting extra emphasis on the beginning sounds of each word.
  • Repeat the activity using word cards. Have the children circle the letter U in each word and provide help as needed as the children read the written words.

More Practice
Read target words in a text.

  • Read the text Under the Umbrella together as a class/group.
  • Read the text again fading support.
  • Have the children underline the words that start with the /u/ sound.
  • Have the children circle the letter U at the beginning of the words they underlined.
  • Have the children practice writing the letter in the air while they continue to produce the short /u/ sound.

Practice writing the target letter

  • Have the children draw a picture of an umbrella or give them a picture of an umbrella then have them write the capital letter U and the lowercase letter u under the umbrella.
  • Have the children draw pictures of words that start with the /uh/ sound under the umbrella: umbrella, upside down, us, uncle.

SEEL Target Texts

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Under the Umbrella

If you are not under the umbrella you might get wet.
If you get wet you might get upset.
If you get upset you might be unhappy.
If you are unhappy you might want to go upstairs to tell your uncle.
If you tell your uncle he might understand.
Your uncle might say, “Get under the umbrella!”


SEEL At Home

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Associate the letter u (and capital U) with the short /uh/ sound (e.g., the /uh/ sound in umbrella, under, upstairs).


  • Umbrella with a string attached to the underside
  • Picture cards
  • Clothespins or paperclips to attach the pictures under the umbrella

Activity: Under the Umbrella

  • Take turns choosing a picture. Ask, "Can ____ go under the umbrella?"

    • If the picture/word begins with the letter U have your child respond, "Yes, ____ can go under the umbrella" and attach the picture to the string under the umbrella.
    • If the picture/word does not begin with the letter U have your child respond, "No, ____ cannot go under the umbrella," and set the picture aside.
  • When all of the pictures that start with the /uh/ sound are under the umbrella say, "What about us? Do we fit under the umbrella?" Stand under the umbrella and say "Look at us under the umbrella!"
  • Help your child draw an umbrella. Then help your child write the letter U and draw pictures of words beginning with the letter U under the umbrella.
  • This activity can be repeated several times.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.