Eddie's Creaky Door

Opening and Closing Door 

Kathryn Mangum

Beginning Reader Lesson Design


Rationale: Phoneme awareness is very important for reading. Beginning readers, especially, need lots of practice with this. Phoneme awareness is the ability to recognize sounds in vocal gestures and words. The best way to begin teaching this is with the short vowels.



1. phoneme graphic of the creaky door /e/ http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/phonpics.html

2. A chart with the tongue twister Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant

            3. paper

            4. pencils

            5. The book, Red Gets Fed for each child

            6. notecards containing the following words: egg, bed, leg, vent, went

            7. Elkonin boxes and letter tiles

            8. the following letters: e, g, b, d, v, n, t, w, l



  1. Show the children the picture of the creaky door. Talk about how when you open a creaky door it says /e/. Show them the hand gesture to make along with the /e/ sound. Say to the children, "Can you make the creaky door sound with me. Good job. Now we make this sound when we see the short e."
  2. Now I will bring out the chart with the tongue twister on it. Say to the children, "We are going to read this tongue twister. I will read it first and then the second time I want you to read it with me stretching out the /e/ noise. Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant. Ok now say it with me, Eeeeeverybody saw Eeeeddie and the Eeeeskimo eeenter the eeelevator on the eeelephant. Good job."
  3. Now to make sure each child can distinguish the short /e/ in a word I will ask them do you hear /e/ in bed or sat, fed or box, egg or box? Ask every child individually to make sure they are getting it. Then ask if they can think of a word that starts with /e/ sound.
  4. Begin a letterbox lesson. First model the lesson for the children to show them how to do it. I want to spell the word left. I have four boxes to place my letters in. I am going to listen to the sounds in the word so I know what letters to put in my boxes. I know I hear a creaky door sound so I'll put my e in the second box. The first sound I hear is /l/ so I know I need a l in the first box. Then I hear the /e/ sound so that is my e, next I hear the /f/ sound, so I know I need a f. Finally I hear a /t/ sound so I know I need a t in my last box. Now I have the word left. Next use the letterboxes and the tiles to complete a lesson using the words 3 phonemes: egg, bed, leg, neck, 4 phonemes: vent, went, smell. These words will reinforce the creaky door /e/ sound.
  5. Then bring out the notecards containing the words they just spelled. Have them read each word. If they are struggling reading the words use the tiles to help them sound it out.
  6. Now bring out the book Red Gets Fed. Tell the children, "Today we are going to read a book about a dog who really likes to eat, a lot!  He eats so much that he goes around to the people in his family asking for more food.  I wonder if he gets the food he asks for?? Well, lets read to find out."
  7. Then have the children write a message on their paper. Encourage them to use invented spelling.
  8. Have the student read pseudowords containing the e=/e/ correspondence.  Use the following pseudowords {leb, bem, mez, pret, smett, sleck}  This will provide an excellent assessment of the students ability to read using this correspondence



  1. Cushman, Sheila. Red Gets Fet. Educational Insights. Carson, CA:  1990
  2. "Eeeehhhh, What Did You Say?" By Brigette Marsden http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/navig/marsdenbr.html
  3. Murray, B.A., How to Teach a Letterbox lesson
  4. Wallach, M.A. & Wallach, L. (1976). Teaching All Children to Read. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wallach and Wallach‰¥ús Tongue Twisters: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/twisters.html
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