The Squeaky Door

Beginning Readers Design

Katie Kirkpatrick 

Rationale:  It is very important that children learn how to comprehend what they are reading.  In order to do so, they must first become fluent readers.  Fluent readers decode many different correspondences.  This lesson will help students become fluent readers by working with the ea=/E/ correspondence.



  1. Large cut outs of sad e, happy e (the sad e will have a eye with a tear running down its face, the happy e will have a big smile on it), a, t, m, l, f, b, k; Lee and the Team by Carson, Educational Insights; paper; pencils, Checklist:
    1. Did students use ea correspondence?
    2. What gestures did they come up with? 
    3. Did students follow directions? 



  1. Today we are going to learn about the long /E/.  This long is has something special about it.  To make the /E/ sound you not only have to have an e, but you also have to have an a.  The e would be lonely without the a, so we have to remember to put our a with the e. 
  2. Model the ea correspondence by having a large lower case e with a teardrop on it.  Then add the a to the e.  As you add the a, replace the sad e with a happy smiling e.  Make sure your letters have sticky tack or tape on the backs of them.  Place the ea on the chalkboard.  Add a t to the ea.  /ea/ /t/.  Wow!  When I added the t, I made the word EAT!  Make different words:  team, leaf, and beak.  Remember there is something special about these words.  Let’s see if anybody can remember what’s so special about them.  Remember to raise your hands!
  3. One way that I remember the long e sound is by the squeaky door sound.  Have you ever heard a squeaky door?  It sounds like this eeeeeeeee!  So whenever we hear the long /E/, I want you to pull open your door and make the squeaky door sound.  Ready let’s try it.  I’m going to eat some apples.  Good now I’m going to say a tongue twister and I want you to pull open your doors and make the eeeeeee sound!  Lee eats sweets.  He loves to eat ice cream.  
  4. Have the students read the story Lee and the Team and discuss what happened in the story.  Ask students to listen for the /E/ sound and to also look for the special ea while the teacher reads.  Explain to students that there is more than one-way to make the /E/ sound.  Although there is more than one way, we are just going to look at the special ea today. 
  5. Have students write their own story about Lee and his team.  Ask them to write as many ea words as they can in the story.  (The stories do not have to be long!)
  6. Have students work in pairs to come up with their own tongue twister.  Let the students know that the spelling does not have to be perfect.  Remind students to use the ea correspondence.  After each group has created their tongue twisters, allow students to say their tongue twisters out loud.  While each group says their tongue twisters, have the other students practice listen and using the squeaky door gestures. 
  7. For assessment, walk around the room and listen and watch the students create their gestures.  Check to make sure that the students are using the /E/ correspondence.  Take up the tongue twisters and check to see how well they used the correspondence.  Checklist:
    1. Did students use ea correspondence?
    2. What gestures did they come up with? 
    3. Did students follow directions?



Lee and the TeamCarson, Educational Insights. C1990.  pg. 9.

“The Big E!”  Beginning Reading Design:  Rebecca Lee Branum.  Spring 2002.