Do Sheep Sleep?

Beginning Reading

Meredith Coblentz

Rationale:  Children must learn to break the alphabetic code before learning to read.  Before they can do that they must learn to recognize phonemes.  This lesson is designed to help children recognize the ee=/E/ correspondence in written and spoken words.

Materials:  Poster with tongue twister "Sheep in a jeep meet on the street every week for a deep sleep."  Elkonian letterboxes and the letters:  b,e,e,s,f,t,k,p,s,w,c,r,t for each child, Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw.

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a secret code.  The hard part is learning the sounds that each letter(s) make.  Today we are going to work on the mouth move /E/.  There are several ways to write /E/ but today we are going to concentrate on ee.
2. I will tell the children that when there are two e's together they make one sound and it is /E/.
3. Let's try a tongue twister:  Sheep in a jeep meet in the street every week for a deep sleep.  Everybody say it four times together.  Now say it again but stretch out the /E/ sound:  Sheeeep in a jeeeep meeeet on the streeeet every weeeek for a deeeep sleeeep.  Good job!
4. Ask the students some questions.  Do you hear the /E/ sound in speed or stop?  Tweet or bark?  Bee or wasp?  Now let's see if you can spot the mouth move /E/ in some words.  If you hear the /E/ sound I want you to clap your hands.  If you don't say no.  Sheep, in, a, jeep, meet, on, the, street, every, week, for, a, deep, sleep.
5. Now we are going to use letterboxes to spell some words.  Since "ee" makes one sound then we will put them in the same letterbox.  Let's try the first one together.  You only need two letterboxes for this word.  Let's spell the word bee.  The first sound is /b/ so it will go in the first letterbox.  Since the /ee/ only makes one sound it will go in the same letter box.  Now let's do another word with only two letterboxes.  Make bee say see.  Let's make the boxes have three squares and spell the word feet.  Now try keep.  Let's make the boxes have four boxes and spell sweep, now try creek.  Our last word will have five boxes.  Make the word street.  Great job!
6. Now I will write some words on the board and I want you to read them to me.  List bee, see, feet, keep, sweep, creek, street.
7. Sing the Farmer in the Dell but change the words to the following:  What sound is in the mid-dle? What sound is in the mid-dle? Hi-ho the der-ri-o, What sound is in the mid-dle?  Say jeep, meet, and sheep.  Everyone repeats each word.  /E/ is in the mid-dle.  /E/ is in the mid-dle. Hi-ho the der-ri-o, /E/ is in the mid-dle.  Repeat using the other ee words used today.
8. Give each child a copy of Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw to read.
9. Assess students by walking around and listening to them as they read Sheep in a Jeep.

. Reference:
1) Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995).  New Jersey Prentice Hall, Inc.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.   58-70.
2)  Sheep in a Jeep-Lesson Plans and Follow Up Activities.

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