Ellen’s Elephants

Beginning Reading
Kristen Britton



It is very important that beginning readers understand that words are made up of individual sounds, phonemes, that are put together, and that these sounds are put into print by letters, graphemes.  This lesson will help students understand that the letter e=/e/ in spoken language.



Letter blocks and Elkonin boxes for students (f, a, t, h, o, p, b, e, d, f, s, k, i, p, m, n)

Overhead Elkonin boxes and letter blocks

Class set of Red Gets Fed

Sentence strip with tongue twister

List of words, some with /e/ and some without



1.     Introduce the lesson:

"Today we are going to learn about the sound that short e makes.  It sounds like this /e/.  Let’s try making it /e/.  It sounds like the sound made by an old creaky door, /e/ (eeeeeh).  Great job!” 

2.     Introduce the tongue twister to the students.

Read the tongue twister aloud to the class once by yourself.  “Eleven extra elephants, exclaimed Ellen!”  Then have the class practice saying it with you a few times to practice e=/e/.   

3.     Using the overhead and the letter manipulatives, ask the students to name the words that have the /e/ sound in them and model the way to sound out the sounds in the words to the class. Ask students if they can decide which words have the /e/ sound out of a list.  Fat, hop, bed, fed, skip, pet, man.  If the class decides that it has the /e/ sound ask them to stretch it out.  Model for them with the word, met. 

4. "Now I want everyone to get out your boxes and letters and we are going to practice a few words." Have the students leave their letters on their boards and then check the spelling. Start with three phoneme words, and then move to four and five phonemes. (3 phonemes) pet, fed, met, bed  (4 phonemes) send, rent, pest, sled (5 phonemes):  trend, slept, stress

5. With the book Red Gets Fed, get into small groups or partners with children and have the students read the book aloud. Have them write down every /e/ word they see on the pages.  Discuss the words afterwards and explain why or why they aren’t /e/=e. 



For an assessment, you can have a picture sheet with lots of different pictures using different sounds and have the students circle the pictures with the /e/ sound in their name. For example, bed, lion, giraffe, hat, elephant, exit, box, etc. 


Adams Apples by Jillian Wyatt  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/innov/wyattbr.html

“Aaaah” Says the Doc by Mariel D. Hall http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/hallbr.html

 Red Gets Fed  Shelia Cushman and Rona Kornblum from Educational Insights

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