The Not-So-Scary Creaky Door!
Lesson For Teaching Emergent Literacy
By: Meaghan Lambert


Rationale:    In order for children to begin to read, they must have the essential phonemic awareness ability.  Children must be able to identify phonemes in both spoken words as well as texts. Vowels are the easiest to begin with when teaching phonemes.  This lesson is designed for children to identify the short e=/e/ sound in spoken words.  The short e=/e/ sound is one of the most common vowels used in the English language, so it is an important correspondence to focus on!


*        Primary writing paper

*        Pencils

*        Cards with words with short e=/e/ on them (see below)

*        Chart with tongue twister

*        Red, and green crayons for every student

*        Red Gets Fed,

     *   Assessment worksheet


1.       Ask the students if they have ever heard a door that was really noisy, or creaky?  When they are opened or closed, they make an /e/ sound don't they?

2.     "Let's pretend that we are opening our creaky door, and practice that /e/ sound together [Open our imaginary creaky door.]  Sometimes when we think of a creaky door, we think of a scary movie, don't we?  Well, our creaky door that we open is not so scary because it helps us remember an important sound that we see/hear in words."

3.     "Let's all look at our chart and read the tongue twister. Eddie the elephant always begs for eggs.  Let's all repeat our tongue twister together two more times!  But the last time, lets stretch out the /e/ sounds in the words, and say them slow.  "Eeeeedie the eeeeeeleeeephant always beeeeegs for eeeeeeegs."  Great job!!!  I really like how everyone is participating!"

4.     [Have all of the students take out their primary writing paper and a pencil].  "Can anyone tell me what they think the letter is we can use to make our /e/ sound?  [Allow time for students to answer, until someone reaches the correct answer].  Now, lets all practice together writing our letter e.  To start, get in the center of the space below the fence; go toward the door (or window), up to touch the fence, around and up."

5.    "We are going to play a game, I am going to say two words, and you tell me which word has the /e/ sound in it.  Raise your hand to answer.  Do you hear /e/ in ball or pet?  Red or blue?  Mess or clean?  Test or study?"  [Also ask the students to tell you how they know the answer].

6.     [Now have the class line up horizontally facing you somewhere in the room].  "Since you did so well on the first game, we are now going to play another game!  I am going to say some more words that may or may not have the /e/ sound in them.  If I say a word with the /e/ sound, everyone take a baby step towards me.  If it does not have the /e/ sound in it, then freeze! [Continue saying words with the /e/ sounds in them and also words like cat, or pit that do not have the short e in them]."

7.     Next read the book Red Gets Fed to the class and talk about the story.  When you read the book the second time, each time there is a word with /e/ in it, have the students use an imaginary spoon and scoop up imaginary food to their mouth.  [This is a quiet "calm down" from the activity where they are moving around]. 

Assessment:      For assessment, when playing the "Red Light, Green Light" game, note the students who understand the concept, and then if any students do not                                         comprehend the concept.


Modification of activity in the following book:

Linse, Caroline.  20 Fun-Filled Games That Build Early Reading Skills:  Quick and Easy 

Literacy Games That Get Emergent Readers Off to a Great Start!  Scholastic Inc., New York, NY.

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