As children learn which sounds correspond to which letters, they
begin to gain a better understanding of our language and how it functions.
Some of the more difficult correspondences for children to recognize and
use effectively in language are the short-vowel sounds, such as e=/e/.
This lesson aims at reviewing the basics of this particular correspondence
and using it when reading words that include the e=/e/ correspondence.
It also aims at aiding children in identifying words both with and without
the e=/e/ correspondence.
several large hens already cut out from a pattern
several eggs already cut out from a pattern with words written on them
2 baskets or crates to separate the "good" eggs and the "bad" eggs
copies of Red Gets Fed
word wall including words with the e=/e/ correspondence
chart with "Ellen and Eddie made excellent eggs."
Introduce the lesson by explaining that the secret to understanding
our writing "code" is to find out which letters stand for which sounds.
"Today, weâre going to begin to understand what sound we sometimes
hear when we see the letter Îeâ. We want to be able to spot
this letter and sound in many words."
"Have you ever opened a door very slowly and heard it creak? E-e-e-e-e!
Thatâs the sound we hear. Iâll show you how to spot /e/ in
a word. Stretch it out, and see if you say /e/ like the creaking door.
Iâll try extra, e-e-e-xtra. Yes, right at the beginning I said /e/."
"Letâs try a tongue twister." [on chart] "Ellen and Eddie made
excellent eggs. Everybody say it together. Now say it again, and this time,
stretch the /e/ at the beginning of the words. Eeellen and Eeeddie made
eeexcellent eeegs. Try it again, and this time break it off the word. /e/llen
and /e/ddie made /e/xcellent /e/ggs. Nice work."
"Now, we are going to play a game. There are several hens taped up on
the wall in the back of the room, and there are eggs lying all around them.
Each one of you is going to go and pick an egg, and then we will do something
special with those eggs." Have students go choose an egg, one at a time,
and you choose one as well, to model.
After all students are seated again, continue the explanation of the
game. "Some of us picked good eggs and some of us picked bad eggs. The
good eggs are those that you hear the /e/ sound in when you say the word
written on it. The bad eggs are those that you do not hear the /e/ sound
in when you say the word written on it. Everyone read your word silently
to yourself and decide if your egg is a good one or a bad one. The word
on my egg is mat. It does not have the /e/ sound in it, so it goes in the
bad egg basket. Now, each of you will decide which basket your egg should
go in." Choose students one at a time to share his or her word with the
class and place it in the correct basket. "You all did great! Now, letâs
try our tongue twister one more time. This time, raise your hand each time
you hear /e/." Read each word slowly. "Ellen·and·Eddie·made·
As an entire class, use the words on the word wall to review the e=/e/
correspondence. Have the class decide which words include this correspondence
and which words do not.
Have students read a developmentally appropriate book that includes
this correspondence, such as Red Gets Fed.
For an assessment worksheet, have 4 or 5 sentences with a lot of words
including the e=/e/ correspondence available for each student to complete
on his or her own. They should circle or underline words that include this
correspondence in order to ensure they have gained the understanding of
Eldredge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Ohio:
Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1995. (149)
here to return to Illuminations.
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