“Grandma’s Old Creaky Door”

 Emergent Literacy Design

Summer Patterson

Short /e/ sound:

This lesson is to help children with the short /e/ sound.  Children need to understand that alphabet letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words.  Short vowels are the hardest phonemes for children to learn to identify.  This lesson will help children to learn to identify and recognize the short /e/ sound in words.  Through this lesson children will be able to not only identify the short /e/ sound in words but also recognize the letter /e/ when they are reading.  The short /e/ sound is a very common letter in our English language so it is very important to be able to recognize it.


Primary paper (writing)


Cards with words that have the short /e/ in them (see below)

Words on cards:







Red and blue crayons for each student

Chart with tongue twister:  Eric the Elf always begs for his eggs.

Book- Red Get’s Fed.

Cushman, Sheila and Kornblum, Rona.  Red Get’s Fed.  Education Insights, 1990.






1.)     Ask students about creaky door.  “Have you ever heard an old creaky door?  A creaky door makes the short /e/ sound.  Eeh! “

2.)     The creaky door says eeeh!  (short /e/)  Why don’t we practice our creaky door together!  (open door) eeh! (with hand gesture for door).  When we think of a creaky door we think of an older house.  Maybe your Grandmother lives in an older home and her door’s sometimes creak.  Our door maybe old but it helps us remember a very important sound the short /e/.

3.)     Read to the children the tongue twister on the chart.

Tongue Twister:  Eric the Elf always begs for his eggs.   After you read the tongue twister the first time repeat it with children three more times!  The last time we say the twister we will hold out the short /e/ sound’s in each word.  As we read. “ Eeeric the Eeeelf always beegs for his eeegs.”  Great Job!

4.)     Have students take out paper and pencil.  Who knows what letter makes the short /e/ sound.  Very Good!  The letter e.  Now let’s all together practice writing the letter e.  To start the letter get in the center below the fence, then go towards the window (or door) up to the fence, around and up.  Now practice this ten more times.

5.)     Name different words some with short /e/ some without and as you read them to the students have the students tell you which word out of the two that they hear the short /e/ sound in.  Which word has the short /e/ sound:

bed or sat

Fred or block

sled or Rick

eggs or salad


Very Good!


6.)     Read Red Gets Fed and talk about the story with children.  The second time you read the story have the children “open their door” every time they hear the short /e/ sound in a word in the story.


Assessment: When doing the activity notice which students are understanding and which ones are having problems. 


References:   Linse, Caroline.  20 Fun-Filled Games that Build Early Reading skills:  Quick and Easy.

Literacy Games That Get Emergent Readers off to a Great Start!  Scholastic Inc., New York, NY.

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