the bug and the jug

The Bug and the Jug

The Bug and the Jug
Target text


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with –ug words to make words such as bug, jug, and mug.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • bug
  • tug
  • mug
  • jug
  • hug
  • rug


  • The Bug and the Jug story 
  • Large picture of a jug 
  • Name tags 
  • Letter cards 
  • Bugs in a Jug for Sale target text (optional)
  • Billy the Bug’s New Jug by Wendy Cheyette Lewison (optional)

The children will read a funny story about bugs that tug a jug as they add sounds to the –ug ending to make words such as bug, tug, jug, and hug.

Click here to view a video demonstration similar to this lesson.  

Literacy Activities
Act out The Bug and the Jug story 

  • Divide the children into three groups: red bugs, slugs, and water bugs.
  • Give each child a name tag that corresponds with their group.
  • Tell The Bug and the Jug story, including the different groups of children at the appropriate parts in the story.
  • Have the children give a hand hug (clasp both of your hands together and shake hands as if you are greeting someone) every time they hear an –ug word.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Have children blend individual sounds into words by tapping their head (beginning sound) and toes (-ug sound) then clap to say the whole word.
    • b  ug = bug
    • r  u= rug
    • j  u= jug
    • h  ug = hug
  • With word blending cards, have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
    • Change the beginning sound: bug → rug; rug → jug; jug → hug
    • Change the ending sound: bug → bun; rug → run; hug→ hut
    • Change the middle sound: bug → bag; jug → jig; hug → hog

Read target words in a text 

  • Read the The Bug and the Jug story together as a group. 
  • Read the text again fading support.
  • Have the children underline the words that end in –ug.
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SEEL Target Texts

Bugs in a Jug for Sale

I see a big bug.
I see a fat bug.
I see a red bug.
What can we do with all those bugs?
We can sell those bugs!
Get the bugs in a box.
Oh no! The big bug got out.
Oh no! The fat bug got out.
Oh no! The red bug got out.
A jug is best for keeping bugs.
Get the bugs in a jug.
The bugs look snug in the jug.
I see the kids. 
“We are selling bugs!
Do you want to buy a bug?
Do you want a bug to hug?” 
“Bugs? Yuck!”
The kids do not like to hug bugs!
We cannot sell our bugs.
Let the bugs go.  
Get out, bugs!
Maybe next time we can sell mud.

The Bug and Jug Story

There were once some red bugs that lived on a rug. They were so snug on their rug. Sometimes they liked to dig. They dug and dug and dug near their rug and put everything they found on their rug. There was one thing that the red bugs were missing on their nice snug rug. They were missing something that ends with -ug and begins with the letter j. They were missing a jug.
So they dug and dug and dug far away from their rug until they found a gigantic jug. Those red bugs had to try to tug and lug the big heavy jug and bring it back to their rug. The jug was so heavy they could not tug it by themselves. The red bugs needed help from the slugs to tug the heavy jug back to the rug.
The slugs and the red bugs tried to tug and lug the jug, but the jug was still too heavy. However, there was one really smart red bug. He looked at the heavy jug and he saw that it had a plug. The very smart bug pulled out the plug. The water rushed out of the jug and made a sound: glug, glug, glug! 
There were some water bugs that came glugging out of the jug with the water. The red bugs and slugs and the water bugs tugged the jug back to the rug.
Then each bug found a spot on the snug rug and had a drink of cocoa from a mug. They had a party and did a dance called the jitterbug. Then they all got snug and went to sleep on the rug. 
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SEEL At Home



Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with –ug words to make words such as bug, jug, and mug.


  • The Bug and the Jug story
  • Letters cards 

Activity: The Bug and the Jug

  • Read The Bug and the Jug, and have your child use the puppets to act it out.
  • Make up a new puppet show about the red bug, the slug, and the water bug, using -ug words.
  • Play, "What word am I thinking?" 
    • Give a clue for an -ug word (e.g., "I don't like to drink cocoa from a cup, I like to use a ___."
    • Have your child guess the word and spell it with the letters.
    • Repeat with other words.
    • Swap roles if desired.
  • Help your child write a short story about the -ug characters using some of the -ug words.
  • Activity can be repeated several times.bug-and-jug-story-and-letter-cards
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.