E-e-e-e-eh... what did you say?
In order to read and spell words, children must have the knowledge of
alphabetic principle, the idea that letters represent phonemes and
map out phonemes in spoken words. Knowledge of letter-sound
must be present in order for children to successfully decode words and
future reading success. Furthermore, being able to decode words
appropriate speed and ease is essential for fluent reading. Short
are among the first letter-sound correspondences taught in beginning
instruction. The most difficult phonemes for children to
vowels. This lesson is aimed at helping children identify the
= /e/. Children will learn the sound that short e makes by
representation, and they will learn to identify /e/ in spoken
addition, children will learn to spell and read words with the e = /e/
correspondence through the use of a letterbox lesson and by reading a
Materials: dry erase
board, markers for board, sentence strip with tongue twister on it (Ed
elephant eggs), primary paper, pencils, a copy of the decodable book, Red
Gets Fed, for every student, Elkonin boxes for every student,
manipulatives for every student ( p, e,
n, r, d, b, t, l, l, m, s, f, c), Elkonin boxes with magnets
to put on board, letter manipulatives with velcro and magnets to put on
board (p, e, a, g n, r, d,
b, t, l, l, m, s, f ,c),
and worksheet of pictures for assessment (click
- Introduce the lesson by explaining to
the students that they are going to learn about the letter i and its
corresponding sound. "We are going to learn e =
/e/. The letter e is a vowel that we see in many
words. I am sure that you remember the other vowel that we
learned, a. Do you know why the
letter e is so important? We find e in so many
words like red, best, and pet. Today, we are going to learn how
to spell and read words that have e = /e/."
- Show children a gesture for remembering e= /e/.
"Have you ever noticed that when someone is hard of hearing and they
don’t always hear what you say. What sound do they make when they put
their hand to their ear when they didn’t hear you? Right, they make the
/e/ sound as they hold their hand to their ear. Well, to remember
the /e/ sound, I want you to make this motion with your hands.
(Model putting your hand behind your ear and say /e/. Now, y’all try
finding /e/ in spoken words. "I want you to practice
finding /e/ in spoken words. Let’s do the first one together. Do
you hear /e/ in bed or bath? (model:
Let’s sound it out using our gesture. bbbeeeddd or bbaaaath. I
hear /e/ in bed.) Now your turn: Do you hear /e/ in cast or rest? elephant
or lion? set or sat?
children direct their attention to the tongue-twister chart.
"To practice our /e/ sound, let's say a tongue-twister. I am going
to write the tongue-twister on they board, and every time you hear /e/
in a word, I want you to put your hand behind your ear like you didn’t
hear what someone said." (Model the tongue-twister and get the students
to repeat. Ed fed the elephant eggs.) Let's say
it again, but this time, I want you to really stretch out the /e/ in
each word. (For example, I would say Eeeeed for Ed.) Let’s say the
whole sentence together. Eeeed feeeed the
eeeelephant eeeeggs. Did everyone hear
the /e/ sound? Great!"
- “Now I want
you to get out your boxes and letter. We are going to spell some
words. Remember only one mouth move goes in each box.” I
will first model how to put each letter sound in the box and then give
the students different words to put practice on their own. “Okay,
for the word ten I am going to put each letter/sound,
mouth move, in one letterbox. /t/ /e/ /n/. I am going to put the /t/ sound in the first box, tttteee, the /e/
sound in the second box, ttteeennn, and the /n/ sound in the third box.
Now I want you to try it.” 2-[Ed, at], 3-[pen, bag, red], 4-[best,
smell, left] 5-[slept, spend, craft]. Remember to put
each word with a sentence. Monitor the students to make sure they are
putting the correct letters in the boxes. If they spell the word
wrong read it the way they spelled it and see if they can correct it on
their own. If not then provide the word by modeling an explaining
the correct spelling.
spelling all of the words, have students read the words as the teacher
spells them. "I am going to use my large letters to spell the
words, and you will read them." The teacher should pay close
attention to each student to assess whether or not the child is able to
read each word. If a child cannot read a word, the teacher should
use body-coda blending to facilitate reading. For example, “For
the word pen, I first would start with /e/, then add
the /p//e/-/pe/, and finally add the end of the word /pe/n/- /pen/.”
Read it with me. Great Job!
- Read Red Gets Fed: “Now, we are going to
read a book and listen for the /e/ sound. We are going to read Red Gets Fed. This is Red
and he is Meg’s dog. Red is always hungry.
Red will go lick Meg to try to wake her up to get some food, and then
he will be sneaky and try to wake up the rest of the family. But, you
will have to read to find out if Red gets fed.
- Give the students the following topic to
write a message about. “If you could have any animal as a pet what
would it be and why? What would you name it? Why?
assessment, each child should individually come up to the teacher's
will have worksheet with pictures of words on it. I will tell the
students to “Circle all of the pictures that show words containing
For other assessment, the teacher could have each student individually
Gets Fed. I will take a running record of the student's
Eldredge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holistic
Classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ.
Murray, B.A., and Lesniak, T. (1999) The Letterbox
Lesson: A hands-on
for teaching decoding.
The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-656.
Red Gets Fed. Phonics Readers
Short Vowels. Educational Insights, 1990.
“Let’s Help the E
Click here to return to Constructions!