The Red Head
Beginning Literacy Design
Laurie Neighbors

Rationale: In order to learn to read and spell words, children need to understand correspondences so they can match letters to their phonemes.  In this lesson, children will recognize the short vowel e=/e/ in both spoken and written words by practicing reading and spelling words containing e=/e/.  The children will all participate individually in a letterbox lesson and practice with recognizing words that have the /e/ sound in them.

Materials: Elkonin Letter Boxes; letters: a, b, c, d, e, g, k, l, n, p, r, s, and t; flashcards with the letterbox words on them: red, beg, bell, let, pen, neck, nest, belt, and crest (one set of cards for every two students); primary paper and pencils; A New Bed by Joy Cowley

Procedures:
1.) Introduce the lesson by writing the letter e on the board.  OFTEN TIMES, WHEN YOU SEE THIS LETTER, IT MAKES THE /e/ SOUND IN MANY OF THE WORDS YOU WILL COME ACROSS.  TODAY, WE ARE GOING TO WORK ON READING AND SPELLING WORDS WITH THE E=/e/ IN THEM.

2.) A GOOD WAY TO REMEMBRE THIS IS TO THINK OF THE SOUND YOU WOULD HEAR WHEN YOU OPEN OR CLOSE A CREAKY DOOR: E-E-E
3.) Write: Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant.  LET'S SAY THIS TONGUE TWISTER TOGETHER.  READ IT TWICE.  HOW MANY WORDS DID YOU HEAR THE /e/ SOUND IN? 6 GOOD JOB!  WHAT ARE SOME OF THOSE WORDS?  I will then write them on the board.  LET'S REPEAT THIS ONE MORE TIME AND REALLY EMPHASIZE THE E=/e/.  Erase the words and sentence when finished.
4.) Students will take out the letterboxes and letters.  NOW WE ARE GOING TO WORK ON SPELLING OUT SOME WORDS WITH THE /e/ SOUND IN THEM.  WE ARE GOING TO SPELL ONLY ONE SOUND IN EACH OF OUR BOXES WHEN WE SPELL WORDS.  I AM GOING TO SHOW YOU AN EXAMPLE ON THE BOARD.  I AM GOING TO SPELL THE WORD RED.  FIRST, I WILL LAY OUT THREE BOXES AND PUT ONE SOUND IN EACH BOX.  ARE THERE ANY QUESTIONS?  YOU ARE ALL DOING A GREAT JOB.  OKAY, NOW LET'S SPELL SOME WORDS.
       3 letterboxes: red, beg, bell, let, pen, neck
       4 letterboxes: nest, belt
       5 letterboxes: crest
5.) In pairs, the students will use flashcards to practice reading aloud the words from the letterbox lesson.
6.) Now I am going to work with the children hearing sounds in different words and being able to pick out the /e/.  I am going to ask them: DO YOU HEAR THE /e/ IN ________ OR ________?  The word choices will be: red or pink; throat or neck; pen or paper; ring or bell; bread or jam.
7.) Now the students are going to practice reading with the e=/e/ by reading the book A New Bed.  I am going to have the students pay attention to other concepts that they have previously learned about reading and writing.

References:
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 54-57.
Murray, Bruce and Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-on Approach to Teaching Decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52. 644-650.
Cowley, Joy. A New Bed. (1997) Sunshine Readers.
Waits, Lindsey. The Big Pig (2003).

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