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How to Teach Long U to Young Kids

Updated on April 2, 2020
Felisa Daskeo profile image

I am a certified teacher and have been tutoring young children for almost 40 years.

The Long U

The long vowels are easy for the children to understand because they are the only letters of the alphabet with the sound like the name. The sound of long u is its name. So if you explain the sound of long u to the children, just tell them that it is the same as its name.

Long u is like yu. The words cute and use have the long u.

You can introduce long u by telling the children to say the name of the letter. Let them repeat u many times so that they can register the sound in their mind. It will become easier for them to read the words with long u if they know the sound.

When you introduce the lesson, make sure that you have all the tools, aids and activities ready. This is because; an organized teaching will bring about an effective learning. When you are always prepared and organized in your teaching, you will more likely produce better learners.

Here are words with long u:

  • cute
  • use
  • mute
  • fuse
  • mule
  • cure
  • huge
  • cube
  • duke
  • tube
  • tune
  • hue
  • glue
  • blue
  • pure
  • true
  • muse
  • clue

There is no need to complicate the lesson by introducing too many words to the young kids. It is enough that they learn some words and be able to understand and use them. With only a few words, the young kids will be able to read them, recognize them and add them to their vocabulary.

Activities for Long U


Introduce the words by reading them first for the children. Let the children read the words at least 3 times using flash cards. After that, present the phrases and let the children read them. When you are sure the children are able to read the phrases, introduce the sentences then let the children read them.

Here are examples:


  • cute
  • glue
  • muse
  • tune
  • cure


  • a cute muse
  • the cube with glue
  • the blue hue
  • low tune of song
  • cure the duke


  • The muse is cute.
  • The dress has blue hue.
  • The song has low tune.
  • The man can cure the duke.


When the children have finished reading, you can let them copy part of what they have read. This could be words, phrases or sentences. It depends upon how much time you want the children to spend copying. Avoid letting young children copy very long sentences because this will not help them but bore them. If children are bored and too tired from too much writing; they cannot assimilate anymore what you will teach them.

Reciting Rhymes or Poems

Compose a short rhyme or poem for the children that they can read and memorize. Let them recite the rhyme or poem every day so that they will develop fluency in reading.

Story Time

Tell a story. It can be any story that is related to the lesson. So you can talk about a duke who has a mule. You can create a short story out of the long u words then let the children read and understand the story.

Star of the Week Incentive:


Games can be done in a contest style so that there is a challenge for the children. Give each child a chance to show his or her reading skills. This can be done by flashing cards to each child to read and giving them a score. The highest scorer will be the star of the day whose name will be included in the star of the week, but make sure that you are giving all the children incentives for their participation. If not, many children will be complaining, some may even be crying.


When children can already read words; you can have dictation. Giving dictation is a good training for the children. They will be trained to think fast and memorize the words that they have read.

Worksheet Exercises

Children need exercises about the lesson. When children are given hands on exercises, they have a better chance of understanding their lesson. If they write what they have learned, they will remember them better. That will help in better retention.

Various activities are very important for the kids. Be sure to provide them with activities that will enhance learning.


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