Beginning Reading

Jillian Induni

Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ee= /E/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling with y at the end. They will learn a meaningful representation (When you see a spider you say eek!), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee=/E/.

Materials: Graphic image of a spider; cover-up critter; whiteboard or SMARTBoard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or SMARTBoard letters for teacher: e, w, h, l, b, t, s, r, s, q, f, z, n, d, u, k; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: wheel, bee, three, sheep, needle, queen, street, keep, sleet, freezer; decodable text: , and assessment worksheet. Decodable text: Sled Dog Team 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 o, like top, and today we are going to learn about long E and the ee signal that is used to make E say its name, /E/. When I say /E/ I think of when I see a spider I might say Eek! [show graphic image].

2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /E/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /E/ in words, I hear o say its name /E/ and my lips stretch out and make almost an oval shape like this. [Make vocal gesture for /E/.] I'll show you first: sleep. I heard ee say its name and I felt my lips make a stretched out oval ee [make an oval motion around pursed lips]. There is a long E in sleep. Now I'm going to see if it's in days. Hmm, I didn't hear ee say its name and my lips didn't make that oval e. Now you try. If you hear /E/ say, "Eek! I saw a spider!" If you don't hear /E/ say, "That's not it." Is it in deer, bleed, peer, keen, knee, feet? [Have children make a stretched out oval motion with their lips when they feel /E/ say its name.]

3. Say: Now let's look at the spelling of /E/ that we'll learn today. One way to spell /E/ is with the letter e and a double ee to tell me to say E's name. [Write ee on the board.] What if I want to spell the word week? "I am going to the mall this week." Week means that it consists of 7 consecutive days, which means that I will go at some point this week in this sentence. To spell week in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /w//ee//k//. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /E/ just before the /k/ so I'm going to put an e in the 2nd box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /w/, that's easy; I need a w. One more after the /E/, hmm . . . /w//ee//k//, I think I heard kkk for /k/ so I need an k.




4. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for bee. A bee is a kind of insect, "The bee flew around our heads while we were eating lunch". What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /E/. Here's the word: sheep, I have a white sheep on my farm; sheep. [Allow children to spell words.] Now it's time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: sh – ee – p and see if you've spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: wheel; I need a wheel to drive my car; wheel. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.] Next word, listen to see if this word has /E/ in it before you spell it: threat; I got a threat in the mail; threat. Did you need a double ee? Why not? Right, because we don't hear e say its name. We spell it with our short vowel e. [Volunteer spells it on the front board.] Did you remember to spell /ee/ with a ea? Now let's try 4 phonemes: street; the street was not as big as the truck. One more then we're done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: freezer; I put my vegetables in the freezer. Remember to stretch it out to get this tough word.

5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you've spelled, but first I'll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with freezer on the top and model reading the word.] First I see there's a silent e on the end; that's my signal that the vowel will say its name. There's the vowel e. It must say /E/. I'm going to use a cover-up to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /f//r/ = /ee/ + /z/ + /r/= //. Now I'm going to blend that with /E/ = /frEEz/. Now all I need is the end, /r/ = /frEEzr/. Freezer; that's it. Now it's your turn, everyone together. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]

6. Say: You've done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /E/=ee. Now we are going to read a book called Sled Dog Team. This story is about a dog sledding team and in this story the dogs eat lots of meat so that they can win their dog sledding tournament. Let's pair up and take turns reading Sled Dog Team to find out if the dog sledding team actually wins the race. [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 Sled Dog Team aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]

7. Say: That was a fun story. Did the dog sledding team win? Right, they did win. Why did they win? Right, because they ate meat. Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /E/ = ee, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to look at the pictures and then at the words and decide which are ee words. Recheck your answers to see if they make sense. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]


"Eddy the Elephant Fetched the Egg" By: Kaylee Bess



Decodable Book: