Ehhh...Could you repeat that????

Gina Campanotta
Beginning Reading

Rationale: Children with a good foundation of phonemic awareness need explicit and systematic phonics instruction in order to be able to read. Beginning readers need to know that that words are made of sounds. They also need to know the correspondences between written letters and their phonemes. Because all words contain vowels, it is usually best to begin teaching vowels. Short vowels are the easiest to teach because they are most commonly found in words with only one vowel. This lesson will focus on e = /e/. Students will review the short e sound, and then they will move on to learn that the letter e, when by itself says /e/. Then the students will practice spelling and reading words with the /e/ sound.



Class set of Elkonin boxes
Class set of letter manipulatives
Overhead Elkonin boxes and letter manipulatives (e, d, s, t, b, n, h, l, f, r)
Class set of Red Gets Fed

Primary Paper
Worksheet with pictures of a bed, red, leg, hen, sled, test, and chair, blue, arm, tree, and note

Tongue Twister on board: Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant.



1.   Introduce by explaining reading as a puzzle.  Letters give us clues to tell us which sounds to make with our mouth.  Today we are going to talk about what sounds to make if we see an e.  When you see an e in a word, then that e makes the old lady who is hard of hearing sound /e/.  We are going to put our hands behind our ears when we say /e/.  Let’s practice, I want everyone to say /e/ with me.  Now I want everyone to say, “Eh, could you repeat that?”
2.  “The /e/ might not always be easy to find in words but let’s try some.  Notice that you just have to open your mouth a little bit and your tongue gets to be lazy and sit on the bottom of your mouth.” 
3.   “Now let’s say a tongue twister for the /e/ sound.  Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant. When you say the tongue twister I want you to put your hands behind your ears like we did earlier.  Now let’s say it all together and stretch out the /e/ sounds. E-e-everybody saw E-e-eddie and the e-e-eskimo e-e-enter the e-e-elevator on the e-e-elephant.” Good job, now I want everyone to say the tongue twister one last time but this time I am not going to help you.”
4.  “Now we are going to practice writing words with the /e/ sound. Can anyone give me a word with our /e/ sound in it?” Write the words that the students call out on the board if they have the /e/ sound.  Explain the correspondence.  Use fed as an example.  “Let’s look at this word, /f/ /e/ /d/.” (Point out each letter as you say the sound) “Which letter makes the /e/ sound? Very good, the e in fed makes the /e/ sound. Now I want everyone to say the word fed and stretch out the middle sound. /f/ /eeee/ /d/.
5.   Have students take out their Elkonin boxes and letters. For this lesson they need the following letters (e, d, s, t, b, n, h, l, f, r).  “Now we are going to practice spelling some words with the /e/ sound in them.” Model for the students.  “I will show you how to spell the word fed in the boxes.” Demonstrate this using the overhead Elkonin boxes and letters.  I am going to place the letter representing each sound in its own box.  I have three boxes out so I will place the f in the first box for the /f/ sound. The next sound I hear is our hard of hearing sound so I will place an e in the second box, and in my last box I will place the d for the /d/ sound.  I have now spelled the word fed by filling up all 3 of my boxes with a letter for each sound.”
6.  Now have the students try spelling words with their boxes. “I am going to tell you the number of boxes to put out and I will call out the word. Do this work individually.  Try to do the best you can and we will spell the word after everyone has had a chance to spell it.” As you call out a word look/walk around the room at each students work to make sure that they have correctly spelled the word.  Do not allow students to clear their board until you have checked their spelling.  Start with words that have 3 phonemes: fed, leg, beg, red, hen. Then move onto words with 4 phonemes: sent, bend, nest, fled,
7.   Next call students back in small groups to read, Red Gets Fed. Change your scaffolding to fit each student’s individual needs as they read aloud from the book.  Ask the students to take the book home and practice reading it.
8.  For assessment, give the students a worksheet with various pictures on it.  The students should put a box around pictures that have the /e/ sound in their name.  If the picture does not have a short /e/ sound they should put an X through it.  After they have gone through the pictures they need to go back and write the name of the object under the picture they put a box around.  You may also assess the students by having them reread the book to you the next day and completing a running record on each child as they read aloud. 



Ludlum, Anna.  E-e-e-e-eggs in Be-e-ed?????.


Murray, Bruce and Lesniak, T.(1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-on Approach to Teaching Decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.


The Reading Genie Website.


Educational Insights. Red Gets Fed

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