Eeee! Those are Mean Geese!

Beginning Reading

Linzee Garrison



This is for an emergent reader in the full alphabetic phase. This lesson teaches the ea=/E/ correspondence. Children must be able to decode in order to read; they must be able to recognize spellings to understand pronunciations. In this lesson, students will learn to recognize and read the ea=/E/  correspondence. They will learn a meaningful representation (EEEE a mouse!), they will spell and read words containing this correspondence using a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the ea=/E/ correspondence.




Primary paper


Cover-up critter

Graphic image of a mouse.

Smart board or document camera

Elkonin boxes for modeling

Elkonin boxes for each student

Letter manipulatives to model

Letter manipulatives for each students (Letters needed: a,b,c,e,h,m,n,p,t)

List of spelling words on poster or whiteboard: eat, mean, team, bean, cheap, stream

Decodable text: The Mean Geese

Assessment worksheet






Say: We have a few tricks and skills to pronounce words in order to become talented readers! We have learned short vowel words with e such as egg. Today we will learn about E. When I say E, I want you to think of seeing a mouse! *Show graphic image.* Put your hands on your cheeks like this *model* and say EEEE, a mouse! Now, do it with me. *Hands on cheeks* EEEE, a mouse! Some sounds can be spelled in different ways. Today, we are looking at ea. Ea  says E. *Write ea on the white board*.  ea= /E/.



Say: Before we learn how to spell /E/,we need to learn how to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /E/ in words, I hear it say its name /E/, and my lips stretch back a little like this *make your mouth make an E shape* Let me show you: team. I heard e say its name and my lips moved back. There is a long e in team. Now, let me see if there is a long e in lead. I don’t hear e say its name. Now it is your turn! If  you hear e say its name, say EEEE, a mouse! If you do not hear it, say that’s not it. Is it in lean, peg, know, tool, seem, or egg?


Say: Let’s take a look at the Letterboxes! What if I want to spell the word team? “My favorite team won the game Saturday!” A team is a group of people, like a baseball team. First, I need to know how many phonemes are in team. I am going to streeetch it out and count, like this: /t/ /ea/ /m/. I need 3 boxes. I heard the E right before t, so I need to put ea in the second box because ea makes e say its name. The word starts with /t/, so I need an t. I will put it in the first box. Ok, so I have /t/ /ea/ … Team, ttteeeeaaaammmm. It ends in /m/. I need an m. I will put m in the last box.

Now, I’ll show you how I would read a tough word [display word poster with stream at the top and model reading the word].  I am going to start with ea; that part says /E/. Now I’m going to put the beginning letters with it: s-t-r-ea, /strE/. Now I’ll put the last sound together with that chunk. /strEm/. Oh! Like I floated down the stream!



Say: Now it is your turn! I want you to spell some words using the Letterboxes. We are going to start out with eat. We will have two boxes because eat has 2 phonemes. Eat: “I will eat breakfast before school.” What should go in the first box? [Respond]. E with a makes e say its name. What about the second box?  Eeeeaaaattttt, /t/. [Respond]. I will walk by and check your spelling! [Check spelling]. You’ll need three boxes for the next word. Listen for e to say its name! Remember e with a makes e say its name. Here is the word: mean; my brother was mean to me,  mean. [Students spell the remaining words: team, bean, cheap, stream].


Say: Now I want you all to read the words you just spelled! [Students read words together as a group; then call on individual students to read one word on the list until everyone has read].


Reading Whole Text

Say: You have done a FABULOUS job reading words with our new spelling /E/=ea. Now we are going to read a book called, The Mean Geese. This is a story is about a cat named Scat who went to a stream. While she was there, some mean geese stopped at the stream; they were mean, and Scat became scared. Let’s pair up and take turns reading The Mean Geese to find out what happens to Scat! [Students will pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while the teacher monitors. After paired reading, class reads The Mean Geese aloud; discuss the plot.]



Say: Before we finish up with today’s lesson about ea= /E/, which is only one way to spell /E/, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. I have a worksheet for us! Not fun, huh? Oh but this one is! You have to solve the mystery of the missing word!!! Look into the boxes and see which ea word fits best into the short story.  Try to read all the words in the box, and then fill in the spaces. I want you to check your answers! Reread and make sure your answers make sense. [Collect worksheets]




Assessment worksheet:

Murray, G. (2004). The Mean Goose. Reading Genie.


Geri Murray, “Oh, I didn’t know”:

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