Hum, Drum, and Strum

Hum, Drum, and Strum
Target text


Read and write words that end in –um.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • hum
  • gum
  • drum
  • strum
  • glum


  • Container to use as a drum (e.g., paper cup, food container, cardboard box)
  • Container with rubber bands strung across the opening to strum (e.g., Kleenex box, bowl)
  • Action signs
  • Word blending cards
  • Paper drum
  • Drum and Chew Gum target text
  • Drum and Hum target text

The children will drum, strum, and hum and practice reading and writing words that end with –um.  

Literacy Activities
Drum and strum.

  • Explain to the children that glum means to be sad and have them pretend to be glum.
  • Tell the children that they will play a drum, hum, strum, and pretend to chew gum so they don’t feel glum.
  • Give the children a container to use as a drum and invite the children to drum and hum.
  • Give the children a container with rubber bands strung across the opening like a banjo and encourage them to strum and hum.
  • Pretend to give the children a piece of gum and let them pretend to chew gum while they strum or drum.
  • Ask the children to see if they can pretend to chew gum and hum at the same time.
  • Point out that the children are no longer glum because they got to drum, hum, strum, and chew gum. 
  • Have the children share the -um words that they heard in the lesson so you can write them on the board (e.g., hum, gum, drum, strum). 

Read –um words and engage in actions.

  • Hold up and read an action sign for the children and have them repeat the word/phrase back to you and act it out: 
    • Drum, Hum, Strum, Chew gum, Eat a plum, Be glum
  • Have the children point out and read the words that end in -um. 
  • Add any new words to the list on the board. 

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds.

  • Let the children make a target word (e.g. hum) from word blending cards and then let them make different words by changing either of the consonants or the vowel. 
    • Change the beginning sound(s): hum gum; drum glum; sum  slum
    • Change the vowel sound: hum hem; glum  glam; slum  slim
    • Change the ending sound(s): hum hug; gum gut; sum sun
  • For each of the words the children make, have them produce the sounds for each letter and then blend those sounds back in to the word. 

Read target words in a text

  • Read the target text Drum and Chew Gum to the children. 
  • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you. 
  • Read the text together again, fading support. 
  • Have the children look for and underline the words that end in –um in the text. 
  • Repeat the supported reading process with the Drum and Hum target text.

Write about the activity using target words and phrases.

  • Play a “pass the drum” game with the children. 
    • Have the children sit in a circle and take turns passing a paper drum.
    • As the children get the drum, have them say a new word that ends in –um. 
    • Write each new word on the board.  
      • If someone suggests the word thumb, write it to the side of your list and explain that thumb sounds like it ends in -um like drum, but it has a silent b at the end so it goes in a list of its own for today. 
    • Repeat the game, but this time, pass a pencil or crayon with the paper drum and have the children write their word on the drum before passing it along. 
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SEEL Target Texts

Drum and Chew Gum

I have a friend.
My friend can play the drum.
She can drum:  rum-tum, rum-tum, rum tum, tum
She can even drum and chew gum!
I can’t play the drum.
But I can hum.
Hum, hum, hum.
I can hum but I cannot hum and chew gum.

Drum and Hum

We can drum on a drum.
Drum, drum, drum.
We can hum and drum.
Hum, drum, hum.
We can strum on a banjo.
Strum, strum, strum.
We can strum and hum.
Strum, hum, strum.
Drum and hum.
Hum and strum. 
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.