"Ehhhh?  What did you say?"

Emergent Reader's Lesson Design
by Beverly Easterling

Rationale:  To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic understanding that letters stand for phonemes in spoken words. Students need to be able to recognize and internalize these letters and phonemes.  Short vowels seem to be difficult for students to grasp.  This lesson will help children identify /e/ (short e).  They will be able to recognize /e/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a sign and then will practice finding /e/ in words.

Materials:  A sentence strip with "Ed the red hen sent his best pets to spend some time on the end of the rope."; a bag with a red marker, red piece of cloth, stuffed hen, rope, bottle of water, hat, needle, ball; The Little Red Hen big book by Paul Galdone; primary paper; pencils; chalk; bongo drum.

Procedures:  1.  Begin the lesson by explaining to the class that words are made up of a lot of different sounds. When we talk, we say a lot of different sounds.  Every word has a new sound.  Today we are going to learn a letter/vowel called "e" that can sound like /e/.  Can you make that sound with me?

2. "You know what?  'Ehhh' sounds a lot like an old lady that can't hear very well.  The letter "e" sometimes makes that sound too. Now, I'm going to say something really softly and if you cannot hear me, say /e/.  Whisper something."

3. Have students get out primary paper and a red crayon.  Make a "c" and then ? way between the sidewalk and the fence you will make a line that touches all the way inside of the "c" makes an "e".  Model this for the class.  Everyone practice making one "e" on your paper.  Raise your hand after making one "e".  I will come around and put a big star on your paper if your "e" looks correct.  After you get a star, keep writing until your line is filled up.

4. Okay, now we are going to play a fun game.  I have this long rope with two ends on it (have the rope hanging from the ceiling or some high point and have the stuffed hen tied around the bottom of it…right above a bucket of water).  This stuffed hen, Ed, wants to get from one end to the other.  For Ed to get to the other end we have to get all the answers in this game correct.  If we get some wrong, then Ed will fall down the rope and get wet.  I have all different kinds of things in this bag.  If you hear an /e/ in it, I want you to say "Ehhh" like an old lady would.  But, if you don't hear /e/ then you need to stay super quite so Ed won't get wet!

5. Read The Little Red Hen.  Reread different parts of the book and that have lot of /e/ sounds.  Each time they hear a word with /e/ in it, write that words on the board.

6. Who knows what rhyming words are?  Explain what rhyme means.  Does Hen rhyme with Ben or Dog?  Good.  Now, help me write some poems that are called couplets on this chart paper with words from the book that we wrote on the board.  Both of the lines need to have the same beats.  When you have at least six lines that rhyme, we will beat out the counts on a bongo drum,

7. Have students draw and color pictures of their favorite parts of the book.  Display the projects in the room.

Reference:  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insights/rousell.html (Mary Rouse-Auburn University Student

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