The Creaky Door Says Ehhh

Emergent Literacy Design

By: Alli Smalley

 Rationale: Students need to become great decoders in order to be skillful readers.  To do this, students must learn the relationship between graphemes and phonemes.  In this lesson, students will learn to read words with the /e/ sound in them by making the connection the grapheme e produces the sound /e/.  The will do this by learning a vocal gesture to help them remember it, learning to spell words first, then finally transferring what they have learned to reading words with the /e/ sound.


*Creaky Door /e/ picture

*Tongue Tickler "Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator" on Chart

*Manipulative letters (e, d, t, n, g, h, c, a, b, w, s, c, k, p, d)

*Letter Boxes

*Red Gets Fed. Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990.

*Assessment worksheets (see Link at bottom)



1.Say:  Today we are going to learn a new letter sound to help us read words.  We are going to learn about the letter e and one of the sounds e can make.  That sounds is /e/.  That sound reminds me of a creaky door, like in a haunted house. (Model opening a door while making the /e/ sound).  Let's all try opening our door while making the creaky door sound.

2.(Have tongue tickler written out) Say:  Ok class, I am going to read a tongue tickler and I want you to listen very carefully for the creaky door /e/ sound. "Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator".  Let's say it one time together as I point to the words-- put your listening ears on!  Ok, we're going to say it a little slower and every time you hear the /e/ sound, I want you to open your creaky door.  Great job finding the /e/ sound!  Now, let's stretch the /e/ sound out when we hear it.  Eeeeeeverybody saw Eeeeeeddie and the Eeeeskimo eeeeeenter the eeeelevator.  Great Job!

3.Say:  Let's take out your letters and letter boxes.  The letters you will need today are (e, d, t, n, g, h, c, a, b, w, s, c, k, p, d).  We are going to learn how to spell and read words with the /e/ sound in them with the help of our letters and letterboxes.  We're going to spell some words first.  I'm going to do one first, then you can do several on your own. My word has 5 sounds in it so I have five boxes showing.  The word is spend.  I like to spend money.  spend.  I'm going to sound it out again ssss-p-eee-nnnn-dddd.  I hear /s/ at the beginning so I know the first letter is s so, that goes in the first box.  Next I hear the /p/ sound, so the p goes in the second letterbox. Next, I hear my creaky door /e/, sound I know e goes in the third box.  Now, I hear the /n/ sound, so I know a n goes in the fourth box.  And, last I hear the /d/ sound so that goes in the fifth box.

4.Next, allow students to spell this list of words: 2--Ed, 3--ten, get, then, cab  4--went, best, neck, chest, cast 5--spend.  Make sure to walk around the room and check on students.  If a student misspells a word, pronounce it as is and see if they can fix it, if not, give the student the spelling.  If there are any words that is tricky, return to them at the end for more practice.  Always make sure to provide review words in the lesson.

5.Say: Now we are going to practice reading the words we just learned how to spell.  I'm going to practice with chest. I'm going to start with the e because I know it says /e/.  Then, I am going to add the /ch/ sound to get /ch//e/, next I'm going to add the /s/ sound and I have /ch//e//s/.  Finally, I'm going to add the /t/ sound to get /ch//e//s//t/.  Chest.  That's how we read words we do not know.  Start with the sound we know.  I will then write the new words Ed, ten, get, then, cab, went, best, neck, chest, cast, spend one at a time on index cards.  Any words that seem to cause trouble should be read vowel first the body then coda.

6.Say:  Everyone did such a wonderful job spelling and reading our new words that we are going to read a new book.  We are going to read Red Gets Fed.  Red is a dog that is very hungry.  He wakes everyone in the house up to feed him.  To see who feeds him or who does not feed him you'll have to read the book! 


Students will be assessed individually by given a worksheet with different pictures on it.  The picture will each have four choices of words to circle to match with /e/.  The pictures include a hen, jet, vest, lemon, leg, pen, nest, men, net, and web.



Assessment worksheet:

Godbee, Amanda.  "Eh?...Did you say Elephant?"


Murray, B. A., &  Lesniak, T.  "The Letterbox Lesson"


Red Gets Fed. Carson, CA. Educational Insights. 1990. Pp.1-9.


Return to the Adventures index.