Ehhh!  Can you repeat that!


Kim Willis


Children need to learn and recognize phonemes in order to understand that phonemes stand for letters creating spoken words. Short vowels are some of the hardest phonemes to learn because they have similar sounds when spoken fast. This lesson will help children learn /e/ (short e). The children will learn a meaningful way to remember /e/ as well as recognize it in words. The children will also practice the letter e which represents /e/ and find /e/ in words.



Primary paper, pencil, Peg the Hen from, index cards with an e on one side and a slash mark on the other, chart paper for tongue twister.


  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a secret code.  The tricky part is learning what letters stand for the mouth moves we make.  Today we are going to look at the letter /e/ and the movement your mouth makes. The letter /e/ is found in many words but sometimes it is hard to hear.
  2. Ask students: Do you ever not hear someone and say /e/? This is the sound that we are looking for in words today. Let’s see how to spot /e/ in a word. You have to stretch out the word as you say it and look for the sound /e/ in the middle of the word. Let’s try the word bed.  b e e e e e e-d. b e e e e e e-d.  Did you hear /e/? Oh, I just made the sound you say when you don’t hear what someone is telling you…/e/.
  3. Let’s try a tongue twister (on chart paper).  Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant. Everybody say it three times together.  Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /e/ at the beginning of the words.  eeeverbody, saw eeeeddie, and the eeeskimo eeenter the eeelevator on the eeelephant.  Try it again and this time break it off the word:  “/e/ verybody saw /e/ ddie and the /e/ skimo /e/ nter the /e/ levator on the /e/ lephant.”
  4. Have students take out paper and pencil.  We can use the letter e to spell /e/. Make a “c” and then  halfway between the sidewalk and the fence you will make a line that touches all the way inside of the c makes an e.  Model this for the class.  Everyone practice making one “e” on your paper. I want to see everybody’s e.  After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.  When you see the letter u all by itself in a word, that’s they sign to say /e/. 
  5. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /e/ in red or white? Pet or dog? Beg or take? Blend or mix? Get or remove? (pass out cards).  Say:  Let’s look at this sentence on the chart paper and say it with me.  If you hear /e/ hold up the e side but if you don’t hold up the slash side.  Think about e and the sound you make when you do not hear someone.  Sentence: Every egg I ever ate got all over my red dress and made a big mess.

6.  Read Peg the Hen and talk about the story.  Read it again, and have students raise their hands when they hear words with the /e/ sound.  List the words on a large piece of paper as they stand up.  On tablet paper have the students draw a picture of their favorite part in the story and write about it using invented spelling.  Display their work on bulletin board.  

7.     For assessment give the children pictures and ask them to glue them in two columns: those with the /e/ sound and those without the /e/ sound. After the pictures are glued have the children write the name of the picture above them.

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Candy Duvall, Ehh!  I can’t Hear You. 

Wallach and Wallach’s Tongue Twisters