Sheepish Ee
Jan Patterson

Rationale
Understanding of the alphabetic principle is a major key to successful beginning reading.  This means realizing that the letters in a written word map out the phonemes in spoken words.  Practice using correspondences (grapheme-phoneme relationships) will aid in developing reading skills.  In this lesson, students will be learning the correspondence ee=/E/.  We will review that long vowels will say their names, and ee will also say the /E/ sound.  By the end of the lesson, students will be able to pronounce this correspondence and will be able to recognize ee=/E/ in written words.

Materials
Elkonin letterboxes and letters for each child in the class and a large size set for the teacher (with the letters ee, e, s, b, n, d, f, t, p, l ,c, r), primary paper, pencils, book Peteâs Sheep (from www.starfall.com), assessment sheet finding words that have the /E/ sound

Procedure
1. We will start by reviewing that sometimes e=/e/ and sometimes e=/E/.  We will also review the correspondence ea=/E/ that has been previously learned (this will help us in reading todayâs book).  What are some words that we know that make the sound ee=/E/ or ea=/E/?  I will write all of these words so that they are visible by all children on the board.

2. These are all words that have the sound /E/.  Say that sound with me and stretch it out.  EEEEEEEEE.  Good job!  Letâs look on the board and reread the words that you gave me that have the E-E-E-E sound.  (Here we will read the words.)  I will point to a word with the ee=/E/ correspondence.  Can you tell by looking what is special in this word to make the E-E-E-E sound?  Right! The two eâs beside each other.  Letâs read the words with ee=/E/.  This correspondence will say /E/ every time!

3. The class will read the rhyme out loud together (on a chart):
I do my chores, I need to sweep,
A very tidy room I keep.
Every week I change the sheets,
So I can get a good nightâs sleep!
Good job!  Letâs say it together again, only this time, letâs stretch out the /E/.
Great!  Letâs try it one more time.  This last time, separate the /E/ like this-äA very tidy room I kEEEEp.ä  Good work!

4. Take out your primary paper and pencil.  We can all make the letters on paper.  I would like for us to practice writing the words from our rhyme that have the ee=/E/ correspondence.  Who will tell me the words from our rhyme with this correspondence?  need, sweep, keep, week, sheets, sleep.  Great work!

5. Letâs practice spelling some words.  Letâs all take out our letterboxes and our letters.  Look up on the board at my letterbox.  If I wanted to spell the word feet, I would listen carefully to the word and say it slowly to myself.  f-f-f (f) E-E-E (E) t (t).  So I would know that I need an f and a t.  For the /E/ sound, I would look and I see an e and an ee.  Which do I need?  feet.  Right.  ee!  With your letterboxes, letâs spell some words.  We will start with words with two sounds, then move onto three, four, and five sounds.  I will tell the class when to expand the boxes.  The words for spelling will be see, pea, bee (2), need, feet, cheap,deep (3), sleep, speak,creek (4), street (5).

6. Pete canât sleep!  His mom wants to help.  How will she help Pete?  Letâs read our story to find out!  Now we will read the story Peteâs Sheep with our partners.  If you have any questions in your group, raise your hands.  After you have read the story, write the words with the ee=/E/ on your paper.  Then we will talk about the story.

7. For assessment, the teacher will hand out a worksheet pictures on it.  The students should circle the pictures that name something with an /E/ sound.

References
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holisitc Classrooms. pg. 109.  Prentice Hall.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1995.