Eeeek, You Scared Me!


eek cat


Beginning Reading

Lauren Walker


Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ee= /E/. In order to read, children must be able to associate the letters and sounds that correspond with one another. In this lesson, students will learn to recognize the ee sound in words. They will learn meaningful representations (screaming person saying "Eeeeek, you scared me!"), learn to spell and read using a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee= /E/.


-Graphic image of Eek the Cat

-Poster with ee=/E/

-6 box letterboxes (1 per student)

-6 box magnetic letterbox on whiteboard

-Set of magnetic letters to model on whiteboard (s, w, e, e, t, t, p, c, c, h, l, f, r, m, b, d, n, a, k, v)

-Set of letters for each student (s, w, E, t, t, p, c, c, h, l, f, r, m, b, d, n, a, k, e, v, A)

-Decodable text Lee and the Team (1 per student and myself)

-Pencils (1 per student)

-Assessment worksheets (1 per student)



1. Say, "Today, we are going to learn how to pronounce words with the sound /E/ in it. Everybody say it with me, E-E-E-E-E. Good! This is the long E. When I think of /E/, I think of when I'm scared and I squeal. Kind of like, 'EEK!! You scared me!' When I say /E/ watch my mouth, my lips kind of curl up like I'm smiling."

2. Demonstrate saying /E/ and dragging it out so that students can see your lips curl. Call on students to drag out the /E/ sound so that they can feel their lips curl, and so that the other students can see them modeling it. Have the class do it together.

3. Say, "Now let's look at the spelling of /E/. There's different ways to spell the /E/ sound, but today we are going to look at words with ee in them." Write 'SLEEP on the board.

4. Say, "Do you hear /E/ in sleep? Good! Let's say it together: ssslleeeeeeeepp. Do you feel your lips curling into a smile when you say sleep?"

5. Say, "Before we learn how to spell words with /E/, I want you to listen to these words and tell me when you hear the sound /E/. Do you hear /E/ in feet? Good! I can feel my lips curling into a smile when I say feet, and I hear the long /E/ sound.  When I say the words, if you hear the sound /E/ everyone say 'EEEK!' if you don't, shake your head no. Do you hear /E/ in seed? Bed? Steep? Lake? Heed?"

6. Say, "Now what if I want to spell the word steep? The mountain we climbed was very steep. Steep means straight up in this sentence. To spell steep in letterboxes, I first have to know how many phonemes it has, so I stretch it out and count it like /s//t//E//p/. I need 4 boxes. (Demonstrate on the whiteboard with the magnetic letterboxes and letters) The word is steep, and I know that S makes the /s/ sound, so I'm going to put that in the first box. Now I have to drag it out, sss-ttt-eeee-p. It sounds like t comes next, so I'll put that in the box after our s.  Now here comes the tricky part. Say steep with me slowly, 'steeeeeep.' Do you hear the /E/ in steep? Well, in the word steep, our /E/ is spelled with two E's like ee (pojnt to ee poster on board). We are going to put both of our e's in the same box, because it makes the same sound /E/. Now we have one empty box. What sound it missing? Let's say it one more time, 'steeeeeeep.' I think I hear that p. We'll put a p in the last box."

7. Say, "Now I'm going to model how to read a tough word. Write the word street on the board. I see our ee, and I know that ee says /E/,so I'll start there. Now I'm going to put the beginning letters with it.. s-t- and I think I hear the growling r in there. S-t-r-ee, /stree/, now I'll put that chunk together with the last sound /stree-t/, 'Oh, street, like my best friend lives on the same street as me.'"

8. Say, "Now I'm going to have you spell some words in your own letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for bee, like a bumble bee that lives in a hive. What should go in the first box? Good! The b will go in our first box. Now, what about the second box? Good! Make sure we put both of those ee's in the box together. You'll need 4 boxes for the next word, sweet. Make sure you listen for the /E/ and put them in the same box together. I'll walk around and make sure you're all doing it correctly." Have students spell the remaining words: sleep, feel, tweet, screen, speech.

9. Say, "You've all done such a great job spelling your words. Now we are going to read a book called, Lee and the Team. This story is about a boy named Lee who leads his team. Lee and the team are late for their game, and he's trying to get everyone to run, but it's so hot and they're so tired! Will Lee and his team make it to the game in time?? We'll have to read to find out!" Have the students' pair up and alternate reading, while you walk around the room and observe. After individual paired reading, read the book as a class together. Stop between pages and talk about what you've read.)

10. Say, "Before we finish up today, we are going to do a worksheet with our long /E/. On this worksheet, you have some  sentences with words missing. Read the sentence, and decide which long /E/ word is missing from the word box. Choose the correct word, and write it in. Then go back and reread your sentences to make sure they make sense." Take up these worksheets for evaluation.


Stephanie Pollak, Say Cheese With /E/:

Cushman, Sheila.  (1990). Lee and the Team.  Carson, CA: Educational Insights.

Assessment Worksheet:

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