Say 'Cheese' for the camera!

Madeline Manifould

A Beginning Reading Design

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 ee. They will learn a meaningful representation (running away from a buzzing bee screaming eee), 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/.


1.      Letter tiles (l,e,e,b,f,t,p,r,u,n,m,a,k,s)

2.      Chart paper with tongue tickler "A bee on his knee made him weep and say eek!"

3.       Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student

4.      Letter manipulatives for each child

5.      List of spelling words on poster: Lee, seed, teeth, leg deed, greet, may, sneer, sleep

6.      Copy of Lee and the Team for each student

7.      Assessment worksheet for each student:



1. Say: In order to become good readers, we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already talked about the vowel e, in words like bed, pet and crept. Today we are going to talk about the long E and the two /ee/ that go together to make the E sound. When I say /E/, I think of a person taking my picture and smiling really big to say cheese (show image of smile). Can everybody say /E/ and show me their smile?

2. Now let's look at the spelling of /E/ that we'll learn today. One way to spell /E/ is with the letters ee (write ee on the board). These two ee's together tell us to make the /E/ sound like when we smile for a picture. Lets practice saying /E/ with a tongue tickler. Say "A bee on his knee made him weep and say eek" with me.  Do you hear the /E/ sound? Now, I want you to draw out the /E/ and hold both hands up to your cheeks when you hear the /E/ sound as if someone surprised you!  "A b-eee-eee on his kn-eee-eee made him w-eee-eee-p and say ee-eee-k!" 

3. Modeling Letterbox- What if I want to spell the word street? "My house is on the corner of the street." To spell street in letterboxes, first I need to know how many sounds I have in the word so I stretch it out to count: /s//t//r//ee//t/. I need 5 boxes. I heard that /E/ just before the /t/ so im going to put my ee sound in the 4th box. Even though ee is two letters, it makes one sound. Therefore, I put my two ee's in the same box. The word starts with /s/, so I need to put in my s in the first box. Then I hear /t/, so that goes in my second box. For my third box, I hear the sound /r/. (Point to the letters in boxes when spelling out the word.)

4. Now I am going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You will start out with only two boxes when you spell Lee. Lee is the name of the character in the book that we are reading today. When you hear Lee, what do you think should go in the first box? (Respond to childrens answers). What goes in the second box? (Respond to answers). You will need three boxes for the next word. Listen to the beginning sound to put in your first box. Then listen for the /E/ and don't forget that ee is the way to spell /E/ that we are talking about today. The word is seed. I planted a seed in my mom's garden, seed. (Allow children to spell the remaining words: teeth, leg, deed, greet, sneer, may, sleep).

5. Say: Now I am going to have you read the words you have spelled. First, lets all read our words together. (After, I will call on students individually to read the words making sure that every student reads one).

6. Next, we are going to read a book called Lee and the Team. This book is about a boy named Lee who is the leader of his baseball team. His team is very lazy and one day, they don't want to go to their game. Lee cant get them to leave the tree they are laying under. Will Lee ever get them to go? Will they make it to the game on time? You will have to read to find out! Have students pair up and buddy read this book, alternating pages while I walk around and monitor their progress. After everybody has completed the book, we will reread the decodable text as a class and talk before we turn each page to discuss the plot.

7. Say: Before we finish todays lesson on /E/= ee, I want to see what you can do by yourself. This worksheet has a picture of a farm. It is your job to circle write the words that have the ee=/E/ sound that we talked about today. Then, you will also need to circle the word that goes with the circled picture. (Collect worksheets to evaluate progress).


Long, Ali; Eek! Run from that Bee!

Murray, Bruce; The Reading Genie

Assessment Worksheet

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