Lesson Design -- Creaky Letter E

Lauren Cauthen     Emergent Literacy


Phonemic awareness and letter recognition are the two crucial steps towards beginning literacy. Emerging readers must learn to recognize the distinct sounds of our spoken language in order to make correspondences between written letters and the phonemes (mouth moves/sounds) that they represent. I would like for this lesson to make the e = /e/ (short e) correspondence memorable for students. By presenting the information in the context of an interactive story, I believe that the lesson will be engaging to young minds and easy to remember. The lesson will allow students to hear and recognize the short “e” sound, to produce the short “e” sound themselves, and to form the letter “e” on paper by engaging them in each of these activities.

Provide the goal or objective for the lesson.

Tell why the goal is important and how the lesson activities will help students reach the goal.


·        Copy of big book/ PowerPoint, In the Creaky Old House  (click here for Powerpoint)

·        Writing paper and pencil for each student

·        Copy of rocking chair picture with embedded “e” to post as a reminder of lesson

·        Dry erase board with writing paper lines and marker

·        Worksheet


Exhaustive list so we'll know exactly what materials to assemble.

Procedures for carrying out the lesson in detail, with numbered steps.

1)    Introduce the lesson by telling students that we are going to learn about a sound that is going to help us learn to read. “Do you think that a squeaky old door can teach us how to read? It can! Have you ever heard a squeaky door open? It sounds like eeeeee.” (as motion the opening of a door) Can you all open an old squeaky door with me?” (make noise and motion along with the children) It sure is a good thing we all know about squeaky doors, because when we read, squeaky doors sounds can help us to remember what sound the letter “e” can make.

2)    Introduce In the Creaky Old House. “ I have a story here about a very old and creaky house. Mysterious sounds are coming from inside. Do you think you can explore the house with me to solve the mystery? Where do you think the scary sounds are coming from?”

3)    Read the book, inviting children to make the “eeeeeeee”sound effects necessary at the end of each page.

4)    “So what sound does our creaky letter “e” make?” (Let students respond). “What are our mouths doing when we make that sound?” Discuss that the mouth is open and relaxed, and that the sound is coming from our throat.

5)    “Let’s practice finding some words that have the creaky “eeee” sound in them. I want you to open your creaky door every time you hear the “eeee” sound in this sentence: Everybody saw Eddie on his elephant.” (model as students also participate) “Great! Let’s practice that one more time.”

6)    “Now let’s see you open your squeaky doors again when you hear the “eeee” sound. Which word says ‘eeee’?”:

a.     Ham or Eggs?

b.    Blue or Red?

c.      Jet or Plane?

d.    Play or Bed?

e.     Grade or Test?

7)    “We are getting so good at hearing the “eeee” sound! Do you remember what letter we use to write the “eeee” sound? That’s right, the letter ‘e’. Let’s learn to write a letter ‘e’ on our papers. We start at the top, and draw a half circle down to the bottom. That kinda looks like the rocking chair from the story. Now we just need to add a seat to the rocking chair by drawing a line across the middle. Can everyone try it with me on their paper this time? (model as you explain)


          Have students fill out a worksheet by writing a letter “e” in the properly lined box next to each picture that begins with the “e” sound.

Reference to a source that can tell us more. Provide all we need to track down the source.

Elizabeth Mosley offers an alternative lesson plan for teaching the short e correspondence at: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invent/mosleyel.html.