Target text
Bugs in Mugs


Read and write words that end with -ug.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • bug
  • rug
  • mug
  • jug
  • snug
  • lug


  • An area rug or an area designated as a rug 
  • A milk or water jug with some water in it
  • Something to plug the jug (e.g., a cork or crunched up foil)
  • Paper mugs (paper cups with paper handles stapled on)
  • Two signs labeled Bugs and Slugs
  • Small bug and slug cards
  • Letter cards 
  • Bugs in Mugs and Slugs in a Jug target text

The children will lug and tug a jug to a rug and read and write words ending with –ug, such as bug, rug, mug, jug, snug, tug, and lug.
Click here to view a video demonstration similar to this lesson.

Literacy Activities
Bugs in mugs and slugs in a jug

  • Put some water in a jug, plug it with a cork or something else and set it upright several feet away from the area designated as the rug. 
  • Put some paper mugs several feet away from the area designated as the rug.
  • Give a bug or a slug card to each child and have them read it to know which group they will be in.
  • Have one child hold up the Bugs sign and another hold up the Slugs sign to show the children where they should gather on the rug.
  • Explain to the children that the slugs and bugs need to find someplace to live:
    • The bugs want someplace small that can be snug, like a mug.
    • The slugs want someplace wet like a jug. 
  • Let the bugs and slugs tug the mugs or jug to the rug:
    • Have the bugs look for mugs and lug and tug the mugs back to the rug.
    • Have the slugs look for a jug to try to lug and tug back to the rug. (Ask the slugs to pretend that they can’t tug or lug the heavy jug.)
    • Show the slugs how to pull the plug out of the jug and have the slugs and bugs say, “glug, glug, glug!” as you pour the water from the jug into a bowl or tub.
    • Invite the bugs to help the slugs lug and tug the jug back to the rug.  
  • Get the bugs snug in their mugs and the slugs get snug in their jug:
    • Have the bugs get their paper bugs snug in the mugs.
    • Let the slugs get their paper slugs snug in the jug.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds  

  • Let the children make a target word (e.g. tug) from letter cards and then let them make different words by changing either of the consonants or the vowel. 
  • Change the beginning sound(s): tug  bug; mug jug; bug rug 
  • Change the vowel sound: tug  tag; jug jog; bug big 
  • Change the ending sound(s): rug run; bug  bus; mug mud

Read target words in a text 

  • Have the children underline the words that end in -ug in the Bugs in Mugs and Slugs in a Jug target text.
  • Read the target text to the children. 
  • Read the text with the children again with faded support. 

Write about the activity using target words and phrases 

  • Display target words on a word wall (i.e., bug, rug, mug, jug, snug, lug). 
  • Have the children refer to the word wall as they write a sentence or two expressing ideas from the activity or target text (e.g., “The bugs were snug in a mug.”). 

SEEL Target Texts

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Bugs in Mugs and Slugs in a Jug

Some bugs go looking for mugs.
Some slugs go looking for jugs.
The bugs see mugs, and the slugs see a jug.
The bugs tug and lug their mugs to a rug.
But the slugs can’t tug or lug their jug.
So, the bugs help the slugs get a plug out of the jug 
    and the water goes: “GLUG, GLUG, GLUG.”
Now the slugs can tug and lug the jug to the rug.
And the slugs can get snug in their jug on the rug.
And the bugs can get snug in their mugs on the rug.


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words that end with -ug.  


  • A mug
  • An empty milk or water jug (cut off the top so the hole is bigger, trying to leave the handle intact)
  • A little throw rug or bath mat
  • Labels that read mug, jug and rug
  • Word cards, cut out
  • Bugs in Mugs and Slugs in a Jug story

Activity: Toss the Bug in the Jug

  • Have your child read the mug, jug, and rug labels, then attach them to the correct objects and place them on the floor.
  • Stand a few feet away from the mug, jug and rug (adjust distance as needed during game).
  • Take turns reading a word card and tossing it to see if it lands closest to the mug, rug or jug (if a bug or slug word card lands in the mug or jug, take another turn).
  • Ask your child to read the Bugs in Mugs and Slugs in a Jug story aloud for you (help as needed) and have him or her underline each -ug word.
  • Activity can be repeated several times.Bugs-story
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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/.)