stuck in the muck

Stuck in the Muck

Stuck in the Muck
Target text


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -uck to read and spell words, such as muck, stuck, and duck.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • muck
  • duck
  • truck
  • stuck 


  • Tray or bowl
  • Drinking straws 
  • Flour and water, pudding, playdough, or muck recipe*
  • Duck and truck pictures*
  • A Duck and Truck Get Stuck target text*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
The children will play with ducks and trucks in muck and will add sounds to the -uck ending to make words, such as duck, muck, suck, and stuck
Literacy Activities
Get a duck and truck stuck in muck

  • Prepare a tray of “muck” for the children to interact with.
    • Options include playdough, pudding, flour and water, and a muck recipe (see below).
  • Place a tray of “muck” on a table with pictures of a duck and truck.
  • Allow the children to use straws to suck a paper duck or a paper truck and put it in the muck.
  • Read the -uck word on the paper duck or truck and clap out each sound (e.g., t + r + u + ck).
  • Ask the children, “Is the duck in the /m/ /u/ /k/, muck?”
  • Have the children tell what word you are saying:  tr + uck = truck, d + uck = duck, st + uck = stuck, y + uck = yuck.

Clap out sounds in words 

  • Have the children clap for each sound in the words duck, muck, and yuck (e.g., /d/ /u/ /ck/).
  • Ask the children how many sounds they hear in the word duck. 
  • Repeat with other -uck words (e.g., tuck, suck, yuck, stuck, muck).

Read target words in a text 

  • Read the A Duck and Truck Get Stuck target text (see below) to and with the children.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Have the children find the words that end in -uck.

Write -uck words

  • Have the children write -uck words from dictation. 
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SEEL Target Texts

Muck Recipe

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup water 
Mix dry ingredients. Add water while mixing. Use hands for kneading.

A Duck and Truck Get Stuck

A duck got stuck in muck.
“Yuck! I am stuck in muck,” said the duck.
Then a little truck saw that the duck was stuck.  
The truck wanted to get the duck out of the muck.
But the little truck got stuck in the muck.
“I am stuck in muck,” said the little truck.
Then a big truck saw the little truck and the duck stuck in muck.
The big truck got the little truck out of the muck.
And the big truck got the duck out of the muck.
The duck and the little truck were not stuck!
But the little truck, the big truck, and the duck got covered in muck. 
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SEEL At Home



Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with –uck to spell words, such as muck, stuck, and duck.


  • Pictures of ducks*
  • Flour and water, pudding, or playdough to be muck
  • Straw (optional)

*Items included below.

Activity: Stuck in Muck

  • Prepare a tray of “muck” for your child to interact with.
    • “Muck” options: playdough, pudding, or flour and water.
    • Take turns with your child sucking the ducks to your straw (optional) and dropping them in the muck. 
  • As each duck is dropped in, read the -uck word written on it. 
  • Separate the sounds in each word by clapping while saying each part (e.g., /m/ /u/ /ck/).
  • Play with the ducks; make each one stuck deeper and deeper into the muck. 
  • Together write a list of all the -uck words you can think of. 
  • Read the list together, again separating the sounds in each word as they are said.
  • Optional: Draw and cut out a representation of each -uck word that was listed.  
  • Play with the new pictures in the muck.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.

duck graphic

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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.