Peaches in the Sea

Beginning Reading
By Lara Wiggins


After this lesson children will better understand that when the letters “e” and “a” are put together they are pronounced /E/. Children will learn to identify the vowel digraph “ea” /E/ in books they read and spoken in written language.





1). Assess the student’s prior knowledge of the digraph “ea.” Ask the students to name some words that have the /E/ phoneme in them but are spelled “ea”, east, dream, heat, and year. I will ask the students to notice how that in the words written the two letter “e” and “a” combine to make one sound. Next, I will ask the students to say the words with me, “altogether now East, DrEAm, hEAt, and year.

2). Next I will show the students the tongue twister written on the chart paper, “The Seals Dream of Peaches in the Sea.” Okay now let’s say the tongue twister all together. Now I would like someone to raise their hand and give me a word in this tongue twister that contains the digraph “ea” that we have been talking about.”

3). “Okay I want to ask you guys some tricky questions and I want you to raise your hand if you know the answer and I will call on you! Each of you will get a chance to answewr so if I do not call on you first do not get discouraged.” “Do you hear the /E/ sound in “each” or “ever?” “team” or “term”, “sea” or “sell”, “clear” or “clap?

4). Write p__ch on the chalkboard. “This word is /pE/ /ch/ (peach). What letters are missing? Children will respond. Repeat with bean, wheat, leap and ear.

5). Give each child a piece of primary paper. Now I want you to practice writing “ea” together across one line on your paper. While the students are practicing writing, I will write the same thing on the board, just incase they need a reference.

6). Next, we will go through the index cards with pictures of words containing the “ea”= /E/ phoneme in them. After we go through the cards, I might over up the words and ask the students to identify the pictures and then cover up the pictures and have the students identify the words.

7). Read Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel. The children can take turns reading a page, if they are comfortable with reading in front of the group, if not I will read some. Then, when we are finished reading the book, I will ask the students to recall some words throughout the book that contained the /E/ sound.

8). For assessment purposes: pass out the picture worksheet. Have the students read the names of the pictured objects out loud. Then instruct them to circle the proper pictures with ea= /E/ in their name.


Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms, written by Lloyd Eldredge(1995), published by Prentice Hall, pages 153-154.

Click here to return to  Guidelines.