Everyone is Reading

 Coleman Ellis

Beginning Reader


            In order for beginning readers to become successful in reading and writing, they must first understand and recognize that each letter in the alphabet represents a different sound. By learning about phonemes and letter correspondences, beginning readers can become fluent readers.

This lesson will focus on the vowel correspondences e = /e/. The students will learn the /e/ correspondence through a meaningful representation. In addition, they will learn to spell and read words with the /e/ sound through a letterbox lesson and reading a new book with /e/ words.





  1. Begin the lesson by explaining to the students that they are going to learn about the letter e and the sound it makes. “We hear the /e/ sound in a lot of spoken words and see the vowel e in a lot of written words. It’s a very important letter to remember! Today we are going to learn how to spell and read words that have the letter /e/ sound.”
  2. . Ask students: “Have you ever heard the word red? What is the second sound you hear in the word red? That’s right! You said, “/e/! Well, this is the sound that the short e makes. When we make the /e/ sound, our mouth is slightly open and our tongue touches the bottom of our mouth. Also, if we stretch the /e/ sound we will make a sound that sounds like a creaky door opening. “Reeed! Let’s all say the word “red” together.
  3. Now we are going to look at the tongue twister. “Ned and Ted yell at Fred.. Good! Now, we are going to say it again but this time when you hear the short /e/ sound, I want you to stretch the sound. For instance, if I say Fred then we will say freeeed instead.
  4.  Now let’s practice finding the /e/ sound in some spoken words. Do you hear /e/ in peg or pig? Fed or fun? Fell or dish? Talk or yell?
  5. Next, do a group letterbox lesson with e= /e/ words. "Boys and girls, you will need to make sure you spread out your letters so that you can see all of them." Make sure that each student can see the big teacher letterboxes and letters. “We are going to learn how to spell words that contain the /e/ sound. Remember that each box contains just one sound. Watch as I spell our first word together. Let’s spell the word r-r-e-e-d-d. The first sound that you hear in fit is the /r/ sound. We know this because of the /r/ sound. So let’s put the letter r  in the first letterbox. Now, let’s say it again, r-r-e-e-d-d. So the next sound we hear is the letter e. So let’s put the letter e in the second letterbox. Now, let’s say the word again and figure out what the last sound is. The last letter we hear is the letter d, because of the /d/ sound. So let’s put the letter d in the third letterbox. We have just spelled fit in our box. Now it is your turn to see if you can spell words that have /e/ in them. Have the students use their letters and letterboxes to spell the following words: ; 3 – red, fed, Ted, bed; 4 – Fred, fled,; 5 – blend, spend }. Tell the students how many boxes for each set of words listed.
  6. After all of the words have been spelled by the students with the boxes, take up the boxes. Have students read the words as I spell the words for them. For instance, spell the word blend. Then have the students read the word blend back. Listen as the students respond to make sure they are able to correctly read each word. If a student is having trouble, encourage them to use body-coda blending.
  7. We are now ready to practice reading with the /e/ sound. "Today, we are going to read a book called Red Gets Fed. This book is about Red. The title tells us that Red gets fed, but we will have to read to see how exactly Red is going to be fed. The students will read their book silently and if they come across any problems they may raise their hand for help. When they have finished reading, have them raise their hand and tell what words they found that contained the /e/ sound. We will make a list of all the words they found on the board.


Give each student a pseudoword test with /e/ words. Ask them to read the following silly words: feb, sef, fod, jed, fid.





The Reading Genie



Horton, Shelley. “Icky Sticky”



Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights, 1990.


Murray, B.A&Lesniak, T. (19990). “The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach

for Teaching decoding.” “The reading Teacher, volume 52, no. 6, 644-       650.

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