Ed the Elephant


Emergent Literacy Lesson


Schaefer Bradford


Rationale: This lesson aims to teach kindergarteners how to detect the phoneme /e/ in spoken words.  Students will learn to recognize /e/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (a elderly person that cannot hear) and the letter symbol e, practice finding /e/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /e/ by having students perform a hand gesture when they hear /e/. This lesson will guide students to understand the correspondence of e = /e/ and assist them in reading and writing with this correspondence.  


Primary paper and pencil

Poster with ''Ed the Elephant loves to enjoy eggs every morning.''

Plain paper


Decodable Text – Red Gets Fed

Assessment worksheet


1. Say: Did you know that reading and writing letters are like breaking a secret code? The tricky part is what the letters stand for and the way our mouth moves as we say words. Today we are going to become expert code breakers by spotting the mouth move /e/.  We spell /e/ with the letter E.  /e/ sounds like a person who cannot hear what you are saying, eehhh.


2. Let's pretend someone is talking to us and we cannot hear them.  Let's put our hand up to our ear and say, eehhh (doing the hand gesture when saying the sound).  Does anyone notice what your mouth is doing? We open our mouths and our tongue stays on the bottom of it.


3. Let me show you how I would check to see if the /e/ is in bed.  I am checking for a /e/ like a person trying to hear something: /be/, /beeeed/. I do hear /e/ in the middle of bed.  Let me check fled: /fl/, /fleeed/ - there' s the /e/ in fled.  Now I am going to check cat: /ca/, /caaat/. There is no /e/ in cat.


4. Let' s try a tongue tickler [on poster].  ''Ed the Elephant loves to enjoy eggs every morning.'' Everyone say it together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /e/ in each of the words /eeeee/. ''Eeeeed the eeeeelephant loves to eeeeenjoy eeeeggs eeeeevery morning.''  Try it again, and this time break it off the word: ''/e/d the /e/lephant loves to /e/njoy /e/ggs /e/very morning.'' Great job!


5. [Have the students take out primary paper and pencil.] We use the letter E to spell /e/. [Model how to write the letter as you walk the students through the process verbally.] Capital E looks like a straight up and down line with three lines coming out of the side, one at the top, the middle, and the bottom.  Let's write the lowercase letter e.  First draw a short, sideways line.  Curve it around to make a c shape, with the line in the middle. I want to see everyone's e's.  After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.


6. Now let's see if we hear the /e/ sound in spoken words. Do you hear /e/ in pet or mat? [Call on student for each set of words.] net or goal? bed or couch? nest or house? Let's see if you can spot the mouth move in some words.  I want everyone to put their hand up to their ear when you hear /e/: pet, mat, net, goal, bed, couch, nest, house.


7. Now let's read the book, Red Gets Fed. Red is Meg's pet who is very hungry and wants to be fed.  As I read, I want you to put your hand to your ear every time you hear /e/.  When we are done reading, I am going to let you draw a pet and give it a name that has the /e/ sound in it. [Pass out paper and crayons and let the students name their pet using /e/, then display their work.]


8. Show RED and model how to decide if it is red or rod. The E makes me put my hand up to my ear as if I cannot hear, /e/, so the word with the correct sound is r-eeeee-d.  Now you try SET: sat or set? GET: bet or bat? MET: met or mat?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. http://www.funfonix.com/worksheets/book1_page9.php


Students are to circle each picture that has the /e/ sound and X the pictures that do not have the sound.  If time permits, the students can color the pictures that have circled.  Call the students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step 8. 


Worksheet: http://www.funfonix.com/worksheets/book1_page9.php

Red Gets Fed, Carson.  Educational Insights 2000.

Amber Mullinax, Excellent Eddie http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/chall/mullinaxel.html

Return to Doorways Index