Eeeehhhh? I Can't Hear You!!
Rationale: A strong understanding of phonemes is a must for children to become skillful readers. Beck found that "phoneme awareness is specifically folded into the teaching of letter-sound correspondences" (Beck, p. 29). Short vowels and consonants are usually the first two types of letter sound-correspondences taught to young children who are learning to read. The goal of this lesson is to introduce the phoneme e = /e/. Students will learn to identify this short vowel by being taught a meaningful name and hand gesture. They will also learn to identify /e/ in spoken words. Students will read and spell words with e = /e/ through a letterbox lesson and independent reading of a new book.
-Copy of Red Gets Fed book for each student in the class and the teacher
-Elkonin boxes for each student and the teacher
-Letterboxes letters for each student and teacher: (e, d, n, b, l (2), c, k, p, a, t, v, and s)
-Primary writing paper (for students)
-Pencils (for students)
-Dry erase marker
-Dry erase board
-Picture of a
person who is hard of hearing (found at
-Poster with tongue twister: "Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant."
-worksheet for assessment with pictures and a list of words to choose from that match the pictures that also include the /e/ sound in their name (ex. egg, elephant, bed, and led)
1. "Today we are going to learn a new sound that will help us read lots of new words." I will introduce the lesson by showing the class the letter e (uppercase and lowercase) on the overhead projector. "Can anybody tell me what letter is on the board? That's right! It's the letter e. What sound does the letter e make? That's right!" Put the picture of the man who is hard of hearing on the projector. The e = /e/ makes the sound like a person who has trouble hearing. I will then put my hand behind my ear and stretch out the /e/ sound to act like I am hard of hearing. "Now, I want everybody to pretend that you are hard of hearing with me!"
2. Next, I will show the students the poster with the tongue twister on it. "I am going to say our tongue twister first and then I want you to repeat it stretching out the /e/ sound in the words. Eeee-verybody saw Eeeee-ddie and the Eeeee-skimo eeee-nter the eeee-levator on the eeeee-lephant. Now, you say it but don't forget to put your hand behind your ear when you stretch out the /e/ sound in the words."
3. "Now, I am going to say some words, and I want you to listen and see if you hear the /e/ sound in the words. Let's do one together. Eggs or pan? E-e-e-g-g-s or p-a-a-a-n? I hear the /e/ sound like a person who is hard of hearing in eggs, but not in pan. Okay, you all try some now! 'Red or blue,' 'rest or run,' and 'dress or hat?'"
4. "Okay, now I want everyone to get their letterboxes and letter tiles out. Eyes up on the board while I show you how to use our letterboxes on the overhead. I have placed four letterboxes on the overhead, so I know that my word is going to have four sounds in it. My first word is tent. The first sound in our word is /t/. Do you hear it? So we are going to put a t in our first letterbox. Our second sound is /e/ so we are going to put an e in our second letterbox. Next, I hear the /n/ and lastly the /t/ sound. So I am going to put a n in our third letterbox and a t in our fourth and last letterbox. Okay, now I want you all to try to spell some words on your own the same way I did." I will then read the words individually and with a sentence. I will also tell the students how many letterboxes they need to use so that they know how many sounds are in the word. The following words will be used: (2)- Ed, (3)- den, bell, deck, pack, (4)- tent, vest, last, (5)-spend. I will walk around the room, while the students spell out their words and make sure that every child is correctly spelling the words. If a child has misspelled a word, I will read the word as they have spelled it to see if they will self-correct their spelling. If they cannot self-correct the spelling, I will model the correct spelling for the child.
5. "Great spelling guys! Now we are going to read our words, so everybody's pencils need to be down and your eyes should be on the board. Our first word is d-e-n. I am going to help you read this first word. Let's start with the /e/ sound and then add the /d/ sound. Finally we will add the /n/ sound at the end of the word. Ddd-eee-nnn. Let's put it all together now- d-e-n. Perfect! Now you try to read the words that I spell on the board." I will place the words that they have previously spelled on the board and have the students read them. I will pay close attention to make sure that every child is reading the word accurately. If a child seems to have trouble reading a word, I will use body-coda blending to help the child read the word.
6. Next I will introduce my decodable new book, Red Gets Fed. "Red is a pet dog. He is a sweet, but mischievous dog. He goes and bothers Meg trying to wake her up so that she will get him something to eat. Do you think that Meg will wake up and feed Red? We'll have to read and see what happens!" I will have the children break into pairs and take turns reading a page, while I walk around the room to observe individual children reading and take notes on their reading skills.
7. Finally, we are going to write a message about what we would have fed our pet Red. I will allow children to use inventive spelling to write a sentence or two on their primary paper. I will remind the children how to write our letter e on the overhead before they begin.
8. For assessment, I will use the miscues that I have written down from children's individual readings to note reading ability progress throughout the year. The students will also be given a worksheet with pictures on it and a list of words to choose from. The children will be instructed to match the pictures with the written word that has the /e/ sound in it.
Churchwell, Hope. /e/ in eeeecchhoo!
Landers, Jenna. Ehhh! What'd ya say? Eeeggs.
Murray, Bruce. The
Red Gets Fed.
(1990). Educational Insights:
Return to Encounters index