Common Core Aligned Short u Literacy Pack

Hello! I put together a packet of activities that I've done with my class to reinforce/practice short u. This pack includes reading fluency, word work, writing and sentence building.
(updated cover photo)

Short u is always a hard one for them. Some kids want to say "oo", so want to say "y" and some say "w". For some reason that short u just gets them! I have a reading series that is old and shall remain nameless for now. I like it just fine, but of course I don't have all the parts that are supposed to go with it, and it's not the newest version on the block. So I've always supplemented for my reading groups, especially for those kiddos who need some extra practice. Here are some of the things I do with them:

First, I make these cards to practice blending words. For my struggling readers, we focus first on just the blue cards. We sound them out and read them like flash cards until they are familiar with them.
I use these same cards in a few different ways.

Here, a student is simply chunking the words and them blending them together. In this instance, I made the words for them.

Here, I put out three of the word endings for each student. They chose the pink cards to go with the blue ones to make real words. 

Here we played a Memory-style game to make words.

This is our last activity to build fluency. I lay out the cards like this for one student. They try to blend and read the cards as quickly as they can (without sacrificing accuracy of course). Then I quickly switch around the pink cards for the next student to make new words and that student does the same thing. It's a super easy way to practice reading real and nonsense words and to practice that fluency.

They love reading words using this cub word slider. 

I give each student a sentence strip. We read all of the word cards together. (In the pack, some are blue and some are pink but my printer was out of one of the colors so they all turned out this pinkish color.) Then they choose word cards that would make sense with their sentence and read it to the group. We switch sentence strips and word cards and make several different versions of the sentence.

And here is a short u sentence scrambler. You could use this for a center, but I used it with my guided reading group for some extra practice. 

I didn't get pictures of all the activities, but they are shown below.

You can do a lot with these reading passages. Before reading, I pointed out words with -ed or -ing. Students circled the base word and underlined the endings. This helped them when they were reading it because it reminded them to "chunk" those words to help them decode. After reading, we highlight the short u words. I tried to think of some good comprehension questions that made them think. We practiced going back to reread the story to find the answers. My more advanced readers had to go back and underline where they found the answer (even if they just knew it from memory). They also had to complete the graphic organizers to demonstrate comprehension.

You can get this pack at my TPT store.

Common Core Standards:

RF1.3 (f)
L1.1 L1.2


  1. Sarah,
    I am so excited to buy your Short u unit. I agree that it is the hardest to teach our little firsties! Thanks for your inspiration!

    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

  2. Hi Sarah!

    That packet is adorable! :) I especially like the matching game.


  3. Your pack looks great!! Congrats on 1000 followers! What a huge milestone!! If you decide to do a giveaway, I would love to help!! :)
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  4. This pack will be so helpful! My first graders always have trouble with short u and short e - they often say /i/ for short e.

  5. Great activities! It is a good post to point people to. Added it to my list of short u activities here


  6. Giveaway is great way to celebrate the 1000th follower of the blog. All of the existing and new member would enjoy the benefit of that giveaway which is wonderful.