We Dug Up a Bug

We Dug Up a Bug
Target text


Read and write words that end with -ug.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • bug
  • dug
  • mug
  • jug
  • slug


  • A plastic tub half-full of a substance to dig in (e.g., rice, beans, etc.)
  • Milk jug (with the top cut off, but handle intact if possible) 
  • “–ug jug” label
  • Toy bugs and slugs or bug and slug graphics
  • Word cards
  • A paper mug (made by attaching a paper handle to a paper cup)
  • A Bug in a Jug target text
  • Letter Blending Cards

The children will dig for bugs and slugs and read and write words ending with -ug, words like bug, dug, mug, jug, slug, rug, and tug.

Literacy Activities
Dig for a bug and a slug with a mug

  • Hide bugs and slug graphics and word cards in the tub, and tape the "-ug jug" label to the jug.
  • Have the children take turns digging with a mug for a bug, a slug or a word card.
  • If they dig up a word card, have them read the word aloud and decide if it ends with –ug or not
  • If the word ends in –ug, have the children put the word into the –ug jug. 
  • If the word does not end in -ug, then have them set the word aside.
  • If the children dig up a bug or a slug, have them say, “Ug! A bug!” (or “Ug! A slug!”) before they drop the bug or slug into the -ug jug.
  • Repeat the activity until all the children have had a turn digging.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds 

  • Let the children make a target word (e.g. bug) from letter cards and then let them make different words by changing either of the consonants or the vowel. 
    • Change the beginning sound(s): bug  hug; dug mug; jug slug
    • Change the vowel sound: slug slag; dug dig; bug beg
    • Change the ending sound(s): bug bun; slug slum; slug slur 
  • For each of the words the children make, have them produce the sounds for each letter and then blend those sounds back into a word.

Read target words in a text 

  • Have the children underline the words that end in -ug in the A Bug in a Jug target text.
  • Read the A Bug in a Jug text to the children. 
  • Engage the children in reading the A Bug in a Jug text simultaneously with you. 
  • Read the A Bug in a Jug text again fading support. 

Write about the activity using target words and phrases 

  • Play the “Pass a Bug in a Mug” game.
    • Have the children sit in a circle and take turns passing a bug (toy or graphic) in a mug.
    • As each child receives the bug in a mug, have him or her say a word that ends in -ug (e.g., tug, rug, hug, lug - allow made-up words).
    • Have the children write the -ug words on a piece of paper.
    • Invite the children to write a sentence or two about a bug using the -ug words they have written on their paper (e.g., “I saw a bug in a mug.” “The bug was in a jug.”)
Read More

SEEL Target Texts

We Dug Up a Bug

We dug up a bug and put the bug in a mug.
And we put the mug with the bug on the rug.
We saw a slug and put the slug in a jug.
And we put the jug with the slug on the rug.
Then Mom saw the mug and the jug on the rug.
“Ug! There is a mug with a bug and a jug with a slug on the rug!”
So, we took the mug and the jug outside. 
We let the bug out of the mug.  
And we let the slug out of the jug.
Good-bye, bug!
Good-bye, slug!
Read More


SEEL At Home


Read and write words that end with -ug


  • A plastic tub half-filled with pretend "dirt" (e.g., rice, beans)
  • A mug
  • Pictures of bugs and slugs
  • Milk jug (with the top cut off)
  • Word cards

Activity: We Dug Up a Bug with a Mug

  • Hide the bug and slug pictures and word cards in the tub of pretend dirt.
  • Take turns using a mug to dig in the tub, looking for bugs, slugs or word cards.
  • If you or your child dig up a slug or bug picture say, "Ugh! A bug!" (or "A slug!") and put the picture in the jug.
  • If you or your child dig up a word, read it and decide whether it or not it has the -ug ending:
    • If the word does end with -ug, put it in the jug. 
    • If it doesn't, put it aside. 
  • Have your child color the bug and slug pictures and write bug or slug next to the appropriate pictures.
  • Encourage your child to write a sentence or two about a bug using some of the -ug words (e.g., "The bug was snug on the rug.").
  • This activity can be repeated several times.word-cards
page break


Read More


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