Fred’s Red Elephants


                                           By: Megan Lowery


Children need to have a thorough understanding of phonemes in order to become skilled readers. One thing they need to learn is short vowels. This lesson is focused on e=/e/ by using different materials and introducing words that have /e/ sounds.





poster with tongue twister- Fred gets a red elephant September

elkonin boxes

plastic letters b, d, e, f, l, n, r, s, t

Red Gets Fed by Sheila Cushman

worksheet with /e/ words




1. Introduce the lesson by telling the class that each letter has their own special sound. “Today we will be learning what sound e=/e/ makes. Have you ever been to an old house and tried to open the front door? It makes a scary and creaky sound. This is what /e/ sounds like. Act like you are opening a creaky door when you hear /e/ words.  Let’s try it together with the word bed and remember to act like you are opening a creaky door. (As teacher is saying the word, he or she is opening the creaky door)

 b-eeeee-d. Very good! Remember the creaky door as we go through the lesson.


2. Let’s incorporate the /e/ with a tongue twister. The tongue twister is Fred gets a red elephant September. Let’s try it together and remember the creaky door. Remember to act out the creaky door every time we come across an /e/ word. Ready? Freeed geeets a reeed eeelphant Seeeptember. Great job everyone! I liked how everyone did their creaky door!


3. The teacher will pass out letterboxes to each child with letters b, d, e, f, n, r, s, t. We are going to practice spelling some words using the letterboxes and letters. Each box represents one sound only. Let me do one for you so everyone can understand what I mean. I will spell bed. This will be three letterboxes. I will put b in the first box, e in the second and d in the third. B-eeee-d. Did everyone hear the creaky door? Excellent! Now I want everyone to try some words. I will call out one at a time and I want you to put them in the boxes. Teacher will call out the words and allow the children to spell them. While calling out the word, the teacher will walk around and watch the students. After each word he or she will show how to spell the word using letterboxes and letters. After modeling the word, the teacher will remove the boxes and have the class read what the word is.  The words are fed, red, best, sled, slept.


4. Now we are going to read a book that has /e/ words in it. The book is called Red Gets Fed. As I am reading, I want you to listen for /e/ words and when you hear them I want you to show me your creaky door.



Pass out a sheet with words that contain /e/ and words that do not. Have them circle the word that is /e/



Eldredge, J Lloyd. Teach Decoding: Why and How. Upper Saddle River, NJ. Pearson Education, Inc. 2005 182-184.

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