“Say cheeeeese!!”


Emergent Literacy Design

Mery McMillan

Rationale: This lesson will help students recognize the long ee sound represented by the letter E.  Students will learn how to clearly pronounce the long ee sound by spreading their mouth wide and saying, “Cheeeeese”. The long ee= /E/ sound is a very common sound spoke in the English language. This lesson will enable children to become more familiar with the long ee sound in spoken words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; Tiny mirrors (enough for every student in the classroom); word cards with:  SHEEP, CHEESE, BEE, FEEL, TREE, PEEL, SPEED, KEEP, SEE, THREE, DEEP, KNEE and MEET; Lee and the Team Educational Insights book; “What Do You See?” assessment worksheet.


1. Say: “Today we are going to learn how to say the long /E/ sound in the letter E. This is the sound that you make when you smile for a picture, like when you say, ‘Cheeeese’.  Look in your tiny mirror and try making this long ee sound with me, ‘Cheeeeese’. Great job!”

2.  Say: “Lets pretend that you are smiling for your school picture.  Be sure to smile as wide as you can so I can see all of your pretty teeth!  Make sure that you are smiling as wide as possible so that you can make the long ee sound represented in the letter E.  Perfect! When we smile super wide we are able to make the long ee sound like when we say, ‘Cheeese’ or ‘feeeeeet’.

3.  Say: “Now I’m going to show you how to say the long ee sound in the word sheep. I’m going to stretch my smile super wide again and say sh-eeeee-p (The teacher will demonstrate and model how to say the long ee sound in the word sheep). Can all of you practice this word with me?  Great job!  Look in the mirror again and watch as your smile widens whenever you say the long /ee/ sound. Let’s move onto another word.”

4.  Say: “For our next activity, I’m going to hold up these word cards and I want you to say the words aloud.  Don’t forget to smile super wide when you come across the long ee sound.  Let’s try some more long ee sounds”. The teacher will hold up cards and students will be called upon to say the words aloud.  The words include: SHEEP, CHEESE, BEE, FEEL, TREE, PEEL, SPEED, KEEP, SEE, THREE, DEEP, KNEE and MEET. For example, teacher will hold up the word Bee.  After students have attempted saying the word aloud, the teacher will say:  “Beeeee is correct!  Like a bumble bee! Do you see how our smile widens whenever we say the long ee sound in bee? Awesome job!” 

5. Say: “Now that you have had some practice with saying the long ee sound in words, lets see if you can tell me which of these words you hear the long ee sound in: Sleep or slept? (sleep) Free or mine? (free) Tried or tree? (tree) Knee or foot? (knee) Queen or king? (queen) Wheel or wept? (wheel).

6.  Say: “Students, all of you are doing such an excellent job at detecting the long ee sound in words. Now we are going to read the story Fred and the Team. Lee is a member of the baseball team.  Lee is worried about being late for the game.  Lee tries to get all of his friends to practice but they don’t want to get up from the grass.  Lee sees a bee and runs away while his friends follow behind him.  Do you think Lee and his friends will make it to the game on time? You’ll have to read and find out if Lee and all of his friends made it to the game on time. As I read aloud the book, Lee and the Team, I want you to write down the long ee sounds that you hear throughout the story using your primary paper and pencil.  Be sure to pay close attention and make sure that you detect the long ee sound whenever I smile super wide”.


7.  After the teacher finishes reading the story, the students will look back over the words on their paper and make sure that all of their words have the long ee sound. Next, the teacher will call upon several students and ask them what words they found throughout the story that had the long ee sound.  The teacher will help or make any corrections that students come up with if needed.

8.  For assessment, the teacher will distribute a long ee vowel worksheet out to each student. Directions ask for students to circle the words that have the long ee sound in them.  Students must also draw a circle around the barnyard animal or scenery that has this long ee sound.  Students may use their pencil to complete this activity.  After all students have finished and the teacher has taken up the worksheet, the teacher will call upon several students and as a class they will review the answers for extra practice.


Rachel Cummings “EEEEEasy Does It” on the reading genie website:


Assessment worksheet: http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/html/phonics_worksheet_v2-03.html

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