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# 1.4: Sometimes a Vowel, Sometimes a Consonant: < u >

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

1. The letter \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} is usually a vowel, but it is a consonant when it comes right after the letter <q>, as in queen, quick, or unique. Look carefully at the letter in front of the \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} in each of the following words and then sort the words into the two groups:

\begin{align*}& \text{queen} && \text{quick} && \text{should} && \text{study} && \text{around} \\ & \text{unique} && \text{you} && \text{duck} && \text{funny} && \text{question} \\ & \text{quiet} && \text{full} && \text{blue} && \text{earthquake} && \text{squirrel} \end{align*}

2. Fill in the blanks: The letter \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} is usually a _______, but it is a consonant when it comes right after the letter _______.

3. The letter \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} is also consonant anytime it spells the sound that is usually spelled with a <w>, the sound you hear at the beginning of will and won't. When \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} comes right after <q>, it often spells that <w> sound. Here are the seven words you just found in which \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} comes right after <q>:

\begin{align*}& \text{queen} && \text{unique} && \text{quiet} && \text{quick} \\ & \text{earthquake} && \text{question} && \text{squirrel}\end{align*}

The letter \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} spells the <w> sound in six of these words. Find those six words and write them into the following table:

4. In a few words \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} spells the [w] sound right after the letter <g>. Listen carefully to the sound spelled by the \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} in each of the following words and then sort the words into the two groups:

\begin{align*}& \text{language} && \text{gum} && \text{jaguar} && \text{penguin} \\ & \text{gun} && \text{begun} && \text{gull} && \text{argue}\end{align*}

5. Fill in the blanks: The letter \begin{align*}<\text{u}>\end{align*} is usually a _______, but it is a consonant whenever it comes right after the letter _______. It is also a consonant whenever it spells the _______ as it does in the word _________.

6. The four letters that are always vowels are _______, _______, _______, and _______.

7. The three letters that are sometimes vowels and sometimes consonants are _______, _______, and _______. Did you remember the pointed brackets?

Word Find. Find the twenty words in the puzzle. Each word contains the letter <e>. As you find them, draw a circle around each one and check it off the list, as we have done with place:

\begin{align*}& \text{place} \surd && \text{close} && \text{next} && \text{write} && \text{queen} \\ & \text{went} && \text{white} && \text{below} && \text{new} && \text{quiet} \\ & \text{yellow} && \text{years} && \text{they} && \text{language} && \text{men} \\ & \text{penguin} && \text{enough} && \text{orange} && \text{home} && \text{were}\end{align*}

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