Green Weeds
Beginning Reading
Michelle Herring

Rationale: Before children learn to read they must learn to break the alphabetic code. Understanding how to recognize phonemes is a step towards breaking that code. In this lesson, children will learn the correspondence ee=/E/ in spoken and written words.

Materials: Concentration game for ee=/E/ correspondence, Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, poster with “Three green weeds creep up the street.”, a piece of plain white paper for each student, and a green crayon for each student.

1. I will introduce the lesson by explaining to the children that our language is a secret code. And today, you are going to learn one of the secrets. There is a mouth move that makes the sound /E/. I will say /E/ a couple of times. Then I will tell them that /E/ can be written in different ways, but we are going to use ee.

2. I will write ee on the board and explain to the students that ee=/E/. Can you say that with me? /E/. Good, say it again. /E/. Excellent!

3. Now we are going to say a tongue twister. First listen to me, then we’ll say it together. “Three green weeds creep up the street.”. Okay, say it with me. “Three green weeds creep up the street.” Now let’s stretch out the /E/ sound…..Threeeee greeeeen weeeeeeds creeeeep up the streeeeet. Great job! Let’s say it the regular way again and count how many words have the /E/ sound. Three (1) green (2) weeds (3) creep (4) up the street (5). That’s right, 5 words in that tongue twister say /E/.

4. I’m going to say some words to you and see if you can hear the /E/ sound in them. If you do hear the /E/ sound, I want you to say “green weeds”. If you don’t hear the /E/ sound, say “nope nope”. Sweep, bee, up, meet, buzz, seem, truck, need, sneeze, cry, week, seed. Excellent work.

5. Now I am going to write some words on the board so that we can learn how to recognize the ee=/E/ sound when we are reading. Write tree, sun, sleep, bee, car, and feet on the board. Point to tree and ask the students if it has ee. Hopefully they will say yes and then I will read the word for them to show it says /E/. Point to sun and ask the same thing. Read sun and show that it does not say /E/. Continue for other words.

6. Get the concentration cards out. Put the students in groups of 3. Each group will have a set of concentration cards. The cards have ee and non ee words. The students will turn two cards over. In order to get a match one must have two cards with ee words. If not, turn them back over and it’s the next person’s turn. I will be walking around to assist and to read words every now and then.

7. Hand a piece of white paper and a green crayon to each student. Write “Green Weeds” on the board. Tell the students to write “green weeds” at the top of their paper. Then tell them that they have 5 seconds to draw as many green weeds on the paper as they can. Count to 5 and say STOP. Collect the drawings and display them around the room.

8. Pass out Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw books to each child. Have them read the story to themselves.

9. To assess the students, I will walk around while they are reading and have each student read a couple of students out loud for me.

Reference: (Meredith Coblentz)

For questions, please e-mail

Click here to return to Challenges