ELLEN THE ELEPHANT
Beginning to Read
Joanna Hall

Rational: Students must build their sight vocabulary in order to become proficient readers.  Therefore, it is very important for teachers to teach their students  common correspondences.  The goal of this lesson is to help students learn the short vowel correspondence e.  This lesson will provide students with practice pronouncing the /e/ phoneme when shown the grapheme e in written words.  Students will learn to read e = /e/ and to write words that contain the e correspondence.  After this lesson, students will hopefully be able to pronounce /e/ when shown e and be able to read words that have the e = /e/ correspondence.

Materials:
- Student copies of Red Gets Fed by Educational Insights
- Elkonin letterboxes drawn on the chalkboard
- Chalk and chalkboard
- Student letterboxes and cut-out letters
- Primary writing paper and pencils
- Word cards with the words: egg, fed, dog, jet, elephant, bell, and jar written on them
- Activity sheets
- Magazines and construction paper

Procedures:
1. Introduce the lesson to the students by telling them that: LEARNING TO READ IS A SECRET CODE.  EVERY LETTER OF THE ALPHABET HAS A SPECIAL SOUND THAT GOES WITH IT.  SOME LETTERS CAN MAKE MORE THAN ONE SOUND, BUT TODAY WE ARE GOING TO
TALKABOUT THE LETTER e AND THE SOUND IT MAKES. e SAYS /e/.  CAN EVERYONE SAY /e/?  /e/!  GOOD JOB CLASS!  LET'S
PRACTICE SOME MORE·
2. OK.  CAN ANYONE THINK SOME WORDS THAT CONTAIN THE /e/ SOUND?  As children respond, write their words on the board.  Be prepared to
help students ö example words are: fell, test, pet, sell. Etc.  As children call out words for the teacher to write on the board, take the time to underline the e
grapheme in each word that makes the /e/ sound.
3. GOOD JOB CLASS!  EVERYONE DID GREAT COMING UP WITH WORDS THAT HAVE THE /e/ SOUND IN THEM.  NOW LET'S TRY A
TONGUE TWISTER.  Write the following sentence on the board: Ellen the elephant fell on the egg.  As a class, say the tongue twister together.  HOW
MANY TIMES DID WE HEAR THE /e/ SOUND IN THIS SENTENCE?  CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHERE IN THIS SENTENCE WE HEAR THE /e/
SOUND?  GOOD JOB! WE HEAR /e/ IN EGG·and so on.  Have everyone say egg slowly, stretching out the eeeegg.  GREAT!  LET'S CIRCLE ALL
THE PLACES WHERE WE HEAR THE /e/ SOUND!
4. NOW LET'S PLAY A WORD GAME·I AM GOING TO HOLD UP CARDS THAT CONTAIN ONE WORD ON EACH.  WHEN YOU SEE A
WORD THAT CONTAINS THE /e/ SOUND IN IT, SAY ELLEN THE ELEPHANT.  OK?  Hold up one card at a time until each card has been completed.
5. NOW CLASS, WE ARE GOING TO DO A LETTERBOX LESSON (Murray).  (Explain to the students how to do it.)
a. Have students get out their letterboxes and the letters: b, e, d, f, l, l, c, a, t, p, n, r, s, t, t, m, v, g, g, i
b. Remind students to turn their letters to the lowercase side and that each box contains only one mouth move.
c. Demonstrate two examples on the board: OK, WE ARE GOING TO PRACTICE SOME WORDS TOGETHER.  With the class do the examples bed
(3) and vest (4) with the class.  Have the students practice: beeeeed and veeeeest.  GOOD JOB!  Also explain why bed has three boxes and vest has four.
d. Students will now fill in their boxes individually with the following words: 2 ö egg, in 3 ö bed, fell, cat, pen, red, ran 4 ö send, test, camp, vest 5 ö spent
The teacher will read each word (one at a time) out loud, as well as give a sentence with each word.  (Remind the students to use the lowercase side of the
letters.)
6. After each student spells all the words individually at their desk, volunteers will be chosen to come up and do one word at a time on the chalkboard.
7. The children will now be given the book, Red Gets Fed, (may want to do a book talk).  Team the children up in pairs to read together while you walk around
scaffolding and assisting when needed.  One child will read the book first, then the other.  Remind the children: DO NOT TELL YOUR FRIEND THE WORD
IMMEDIATELY IF HE/SHE MESSES UP.  WAIT A FEW SECONDS, HAVE THEM READ THE REST OF THE SENTENCE, AND LASTLY, TRY
COVER-UPS.
8. Assessment: The students will be given an activity sheet.  The sheet contains five sentences on it.  They are to circle all words that contain the /e/ sound in them.
While the children are doing this, call them one at a time read a small passage of the book to you (do a running record).
9. Have the students find pictures or words in a magazine that contain the /e/ sound.  Cut them out and paste on construction paper to display in the classroom.

References:

Murray, B.A. and T. Lesniak.  (1999).  "The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach to teaching decoding."  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

Patterson, Leann.  "Lucky Ducky."  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/pattersonbr.html

Stewart, Christi.  "Eddie the Egg."  http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/openings/stewartbr.html

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