Stuck in Muck

Stuck in Muck
Target text


Read and write words that end with uck.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • duck
  • muck
  • yuck
  • suck
  • truck
  • stuck


  • Muck (e.g., playdough, flour and water, chocolate pudding, mud, or ‘muck’ made from a recipe*)
  • Tray, cookie sheet, or bowl
  • Straws
  • Toy duck and truck, or pictures of ducks and trucks*
  • Letter cards*
  • A Duck and Truck Get Stuck target text*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will play with a duck and a truck in muck and will read and write words ending with uck, such as duck, muck, suck, yuck, stuck, and truck.
Click here to see a video demonstration similar to this lesson.
Literacy Activities
Get a duck or truck stuck in the muck

  • Prepare some muck with flour and water (add dirt if desired) or use the recipe below.
  • Place a tray with muck on a table next to pictures of ducks and trucks (see below).
  • Have the children read a word on a duck or truck picture.
  • Let the children suck through a straw to pick up the duck or truck and stick it in the muck.
  • Comment, “Yuck! Yuck! A duck (or truck) is stuck in the muck!”

Let a truck get a duck out of the muck

  • Read the A Duck and Truck Get Stuck target text (see below) with the children.
  • Let the children get a paper or toy duck and truck stuck in the muck.
  • Have the children use the big paper truck to help get the stuck duck and truck out of the muck.

Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • Let the children make a word (e.g., duck) from letter cards.
  • Have the children make different words by changing a consonant or vowel.
    • Change the beginning sound(s): duckmuck; suckyuck; muckduck
    • Change the vowel sound: sucksick; duckdeck; muckmock
    • Change the ending sound(s): duckdug; sucksun; yuckyum
  • Have the children produce the sounds for the letters in the words and blend them together.

Read target words in a text

  • Have the children find the words that end in -uck in the A Duck and Truck Get Stuck text.
  • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support.

Write about the activity using target words and phrases

  • Display target words on a word wall (e.g., duck, muck, suck, yuck, stuck, truck).
  • Have the children write about a duck or truck getting stuck in muck and a big truck getting the duck or truck out of the muck.

SEEL Target Texts

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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 the duck that was stuck.  
So, the little truck tried to get the duck out of the muck.
But then the little truck got stuck.
“Yuck! I am stuck in muck,” said the little truck.
Then a big truck came along.
And that big truck got the little truck and the duck out of the muck.  
But the little truck, the big truck, and the duck got covered in muck. Yuck!

Mud or "muck" playdough recipe


1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder


add 1/2 cup water and knead.


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words that end with -uck.

  • Pretend muck (e.g., play-dough, flour and water, chocolate pudding, or muck)
  • Muck recipe: Mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1/3 cup cocoa powder; add 1/2 cup water and knead
  • Tray, bowl, or cookie sheet for the muck
  • Drinking straw 
  • Duck pictures*

*Item included below.

Activity: Stuck in Muck

  • Place a tray of muck on a table, surrounded by the paper ducks.
  • Ask your child to choose a paper duck and read the word written on it.
  • Have your child suck through a straw to pick up the paper duck and drop it in the muck as he or she says, "Yuck!  A duck!  A duck is stuck in the muck!"
  • Take turns doing the activity until all the ducks are in the muck.
  • Have your child draw a picture of a duck stuck in muck and write a sentence or two about the duck by using words from the paper duck pictures (e.g., "The duck got stuck in the muck").
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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/).