Variant Vowel /oo/

Contributor: Melissa LaRusso. Lesson ID: 11976

Take a LOOK at the word "BOOK." COULD you see two letters that were PUT together to make a /u/ sound? Don't get SHOOK; get HOOKED on this lesson on variant vowels! You SHOULD do a GOOD job learning!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


What sound do you hear in the middle of these words?

book, balloon, and moon

Balloon has an /oo/ sound in the middle of the word, and book has a /u/ sound in the middle.

Both words use the spelling "oo" to make the vowel sound, but the sounds are different. The letters "oo" make two sounds: /oo/ and /u/. This vowel combination is called a variant vowel. There are three ways to spell the /oo/ sound. They are "oo," "oul," and "u."

Read the following words aloud:

  • wood and pool
    • Which word has the same vowel sound as book?
    • Yes, wood has the same vowel sound as book.
  • broke and brook
    • Which word has the same vowel as book?
    • Yes, brook has the same vowel sound as book.

The letters "oul" can blend together to make one sound. Look at the word "would." What sound does the "oul" make?

Tell your parent or teacher the sound you hear. The word would has five letters but only three sounds: /w/ /oo/ /d/.

Tell your parent or teacher one similarity and difference between the words "wood" and "would."

Now, have your parent or teacher read the words on the list below to you. Don't peek! Tell your parent or teacher the correct letter combination or spelling for the variant vowel /oo/:

  • bull
  • hook
  • could
  • shook
  • pull
  • should
  • put

If you could identify the letters that make the /oo/ sound, you are ready to move to the Got It? section to practice more words with the variant vowel /o/. If you are not ready to move on to the Got It? section, review this section with your parent or teacher. Try to think of more words that have the /oo/ sound.

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