Grade Levels: 1

In this lesson plan, first graders use BrainPOP Jr. resources to learn about the long u sound. They discover what letter combinations create this sound and the subtle differences in how “long u” sounds in certain words. Students apply their understanding by completing a star diagram in which they brainstorm long “u” words by spelling pattern.


Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Build background knowledge: Watch the BrainPOP Jr. Long U movie.
  2. Express understanding: Express understanding: Brainstorm words that make the long “u” sound, and categorize by spelling pattern.
  3. Assess: Take the Long U Quiz to show what they learned.


  • Internet access for BrainPOP Jr.  
  • Printout of Talk About It (offline option)
  • Printout of Easy Quiz  (offline option)


*If using this lesson for distance learning, setup for video conferencing, such as Zoom, Google Meet, etc. Create and send an invitation with a link.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Tap students’ prior knowledge. Ask them to tell you something that makes a long u sound. Or you can give examples and ask if the word has a long u sound or not: tube, hug, boat, juice?
  2. Watch the BrainPOP Jr. movie Long U. Click the pause button each time a question appears in Annie’s Notebook and answer it. Then play to see how Annie answers it. 

    TIP: the pause button turns red to remind you to pause.  

    Offline Option: Print out the transcript and Annie’s Notebook for a grown-up to read aloud at home. Suggest that the child play Moby and “Beep” in response to Annie.
  3. Instruct students to open their Talk About It assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open Talk About It.  
  4. Hover over the prompt to hear it read aloud: It’s time to rhyme! Think of rhyming words that have the long “u” sound!   Direct students to click the Start arrow. When they finish, remind them to click the Submit To Teacher button and/or print out their completed chart.

    Offline Option: Students write in their responses on the printout.
  5. Have students open their Quiz assignment. Or, if you are not using the Assignment Builder, show how to open the Easy Quiz.  
  6. To hear the questions and answer read aloud, show students how to hover over the words. If you assigned the quiz, you will see students’ results in your Dashboard. If not assigned, remind students to click the Submit to Teacherr button.

    Offline Option: Print out the Easy Quiz for students by clicking the print icon.  Read aloud each question and answer options, repeating as needed.