Eh?? What’s That you say?
A Beginning Reading Lesson
By Hayes Adams
Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the short vowel correspondence e= /e/. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling e.
They will learn a meaningful representation ("Eh??" accompanied by ear cupping like someone who cant hear something), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence e = /e/.
Materials: Graphic image of an old man cupping his ear because he can not hear; cover-up critter; Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives (g,e,t,r,u,n,l,d,c,a,y,s,n,m,h,f,b,) for each child; list of words: bed, get, run let, red, cat, yes, set, tent, met, hat, left, best, ; decodable text: Elf in the Tent, and assessment worksheet.
1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with a, like cat. You have been doing such a great job reading and spelling that you are ready for a new let-
ter card and sound! Today you will learn a new vowel sound- Hold up poster with the letter e.
The name of this letter is e. What is the name of this letter? The letter e is a vowel. Today
you will learn to read and spell words with the vowel e. When I say /e/ I think of an old man cupping his ear saying, “Eh?? What’s that you say?” [show graphic image].
2. Say: We need to listen for /e/ in some words. When I listen for /e/ in words, I hear the little old man say “eh”? And I open my mouth like this when I say it. [Make vocal gesture for /e/.] I’ll show you first: bed. I heard the sound of the little old man saying “eh?” am going to say a word. You will repeat the word. If you hear an /e/ in the word, hold up you’re the little old man poster. Let’s practice. Say bed. Did you hear /e/ in the word bed? Hold up the poster. Say get. Did you hear an /e/ in get? Hold up the poster. Say run. Do you hear an /e/
in run? Do not hold up the poster. Ready? Repeat the word and then think about
whether it has an /e/. If the word has an /e/ hold up your poster. Teacher continues this process while using these words- let, red, cat, yes, set, tent, met, hat, left, best
3. What if I want to spell the word bed? “I go to bed early.” To spell bed in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /b/ /e/ /d/ I need 3 boxes. I will do a few with you. Listen as I say a word: met. Say met. Let’s sound out met using our fingers. (Segment sounds.) Say met. What’s the first sound you hear in met? Bring down the letter that says /m/ and put it in the first box. What is the next sound you hear in met? /e/. What vowel letter says /e/? Yes, e. Pull down the letter e and put it next to the m.(Check to be sure it is to the right of m.)Say met. What the last sound you hear in the word met? Bring down the letter that says /t/ and put it next to the e. (Check to be sure its placed to the right of e.)
Put your finger under the first letter in the word. Sound out the word, pointing to each letter as you say its sound. Go back to the beginning of the word and glide your finger under the word, saying it fast. Now we will build a different word.
Say left. Let’s sound out left using our fingers.(Segment sounds.)
What is the first sound you hear in left? Pull down the letter l.
What is the vowel sound you hear in left? Pull down the vowel e.
Blend those two letters together- what do you hear l-e, le! Right!
What is the next sound you hear in the word left? Pull down the letter f.
What is the last sound you hear in the word left? Pull down the letter t.
Go back to the beginning and point to each letter and say its sound.
Go back to the beginning and glide your finger under the word, saying it fast.
*While doing the letterbox lessons I will make sure to use short a words as a form of review*
4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with three boxes for vet. A vet is someone who is a doctor for animals, “The vet made my puppy feel better. What should go in the first box? [Respond to children’s answers]. What goes in the second box? What about the third box? I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word too. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /e/ followed by one more sound. The word is pet. “I have a pet kitten.”
[Allow children to spell remaining words: [pen, yell, step, mend, better]
5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. [Have children read words in
unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a
6. Say: You’ve done a great job and reading words with our sound /e/. Now we
are going to read a book called Elf in the Tent. Jan gets a new tent, and she plans a campout with Dad. But they don't count on a secret guest showing up. Lets read to find out who the guest is! [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Elf in the Ten aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]
7. Say: Before we finish up with our lesson about /e/, I want you to read each word and then read the paragraph. After you read the paragraph you will see me and orally answer a few questions. [Collect worksheets to evaluate
individual child progress.]
Murray, G. (2004) Jakes joke. Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html
Letter Box Lesson
Similar lesson design:
Elf in the Tent:
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