Beginning Reader Lesson Design
What Do Seals Eat?
children to comprehend what they are reading they must become fluent
readers. In order for a child to become a fluent reader, he or
she must learn to decode many different correspondences. In this
lesson, the children will learn to recognize the ea=/E/ correspondence
in spoken and written words through a group letterbox lesson, reading a
book, and a writing activity. "Children need a word
identification strategy to help them when their word recognition skills
are limited" (Eldredge, pg.107).
& chalk; Elkonin letterboxes for each student; laminated letters a,
c, e, h, k, l, m, p, r, s, & t for each student; class set of the
book What Will the Seal Eat? by Sheila Cushman and Rona
Kornblum; list of pseudowords on chart: splear, inteaf, jeading,
preather, geafing, kreath, reabes, & feack.
- The teacher will review with the class what
correspondence(s) they have been working on before going on to the next.
"We have been learning all about the letter e
and the sounds it makes. It makes the short e
sound, (e=/e/), and it also makes the long e sound, where it
says its name, (ea=/E/ or ee=/E/)."
- The teacher will continue with the new
correspondence to be learned. "So far, you all have learned one
way the letter e says its name--when there are two e's
together in a word. Another way the e says
its name is when it is followed by the letter a." The
teacher will write ea on the board. "When
you see an e with an a right behind it, you only hear
the first vowel, the e, and the a
acts like a silent letter, you don't hear it at all."
- Pointing to the ea written on the
board, the teacher will say, "When I see these two letters
together, I am going to know that they make the /E/ sound.
For example, if I write this word on the board (write the word hear),
I'm going to look at it and think, 'Hmm, I see that this word
has an e and an a together. I know that those two
together say /E/, so I can say /h/ /E/ /r/--hear!" Model
cover-ups while thinking aloud. "What if I see this
word? (Write the word seat.) Let's
see, ea says /E/, so /s/ /E/ /t/ -- seat!"
- Have the students practice sounding out words
written on the board: eat, flea, and cream.
- "Okay, now I would like for everyone to get out
their letterboxes. The letters that I have written
on the board are the only letters you need to get out, because these
are the only letters we are going to work with today. Okay,
I am going to say some words one at a time and I want you to really
think about how they are spelled, then I want you to spell the word in
your letterboxes. I will do the first one with you
all. The first word only needs two boxes; it is tea.
/t/ /E/. Remember that the e and
the a go in one box because they only make one sound when they
are next to each other in a word." The teacher will
only model this one time, then repeat the process (telling the students
how many boxes each word needs and sounding out each word so every
phoneme is enunciated) without modeling with the words: ear
(2), seat (3), team (3) hear (3), seal
(3), smear (4), speak (4), & scream (5).
- Next, the students will practice reading with
each other in pairs. They will take turns reading
one page at a time. "You all are going to read this
book. It is a book about a little seal who is
looking for something to eat. You will have to read
the story to find out what seals eat. Now I want
everyone to get with their reading buddies and spread out around the
room. I want you to buddy read with each other,
where you take turns reading each page. Okay, get
The teacher will have individual students read pseudowords with the
ea=/E/ correspondence in them (splear, inteaf, jeading, preather,
geafing, kreath, reabes, & feack).
Sheila and Rona Kornblum. (1990). What Will the Seal Eat?. Carson,
CA: Educational Insights.
J. Lloyd. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood
Cliffs, NJ: Merrill. Page 107.
Caroline. "Seals Eat What?" http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/discov/jordanbr.html
here to return to Inspirations.