How to Teach the OU Spelling Rule


Next in our “how we teach vowel teams” series is the “OU” phonogram. If you haven’t been following the series, you can read more about vowel teams here.

The OU Vowel Team

OU has two sounds. To help our students remember these sounds, we use the key phrase “Trout Soup” because it can say /ow/ like in trout and /oo/ like in soup. The visual of fish soup is one the students don’t forget very easily!

Where your students might get stuck

While students might remember the sounds of “ou,” things can get tricky because other vowel teams also have these sounds. The /ow/ sound in “trout” is the same as the /ow/ sound in “plow.” The /oo/ sound in “soup” is the same as the /oo/ sound in “moon.” When students have to spell, they might go back and forth between different vowel teams. For example, if a student is trying to spell “chowder” they might remember that “ou” says /ow/ and spell it “chouder.” This is where practice and visual memory (and spell check!) will come in to play.

We highly recommend using a visual anchor to help your students remember the sounds. We particularly like “trout soup” because, as we said before, it’s not an easy thing to forget! Could you imagine what trout soup would be like?

We also like having our key phrase help your students with the sounds & which is most common. We put the “trout” sound first, becaues it is more common than the “soup” sound.

Looking for OU Vowel Team Resources? Grab ours in our Teachers Pay Teachers Store!

Mikayla StoreyComment