/e/  in eeeeeecchhoo!

Beginning to Read

Hope Churchwell

* Rationale:
This lesson will help students to overcome and face the challenges that they face before they can become fluent readers. First of all, children need to be aware of the alphabetic principle which is the idea that letters represent phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words. Also students should be aware of letter-sound correspondences. Being aware of these, students will be able to decode words. When students can decode words quickly and with ease, then this is another completed step toward becoming a fluent reader. This lesson will be focused on the short vowel e. The students will become aware of the sound through practice and recognition. The students will be able to segment words by their phonemes and spell them using the letter tiles and letter boxes.


1. Letterboxes for each child

2. Letter tiles/squares= b,e,d,p,t,t,s,f,r,n,l,c,g,h,a,k

3. Red Gets Fed for each child (Educational Insights)

4. Primary Paper for each child

5. Pencils for each child

6. Tongue Twister Chart- Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant.

7. A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni (big book)


1. Explain that the students will learn the letter e and its corresponding sound.

First introduce the students to the short vowel e. Boys and girls, today we are going to learn the vowel e. The vowel e says e=/e/. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to pronounce certain letters. Today, we are going to learn how our mouth moves when we say /e/. 

2. Review the letter a with the students.
Last lesson we learned that the letter a says /a/ like a crying baby. What are some words that we learned that we hear the /a/ in? That's right we hear /a/ in hat, cap, have, and tap. That's great! Now we are going to learn about our new letter that we are going to learn about today.

3. Explain the letter e and its correspondence.
Have you ever been on a mountain and said a word and it repeated? That's called an echo. This is how I remember the /e/ sound. Everyone put your hands around your mouth like a megaphone. Now I want you to say each echo This time when you say it I want you to exaggerate the /e/ in echo. So you would say it like this e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-cho! Let's say it again. Let's turn to a neighbor, and now say e-e-e-e-e-e-cho. Do you see how your neighbor's mouth is moving when he says e-e-e-e-e-e-cho? Let's say it again. Do you see that his mouth is open and his tongue is behind bottom teeth? Watch very carefully as we say it again. Good Job! Boys and girls, you did such a great job on your mouth movements so we are going to try to say this tongue twister. I want you to repeat after me (say really slowly).
 Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant. Now this time when we hear the /e/ sound, I want you to stretch it out just like we did echo. Great job. Let's say it one more time, stretching it out even more. E-e-e-e-die and the E-e-e-e-skimo e-e-e-e-nter the e-e-e-e-l-e-e-e-vator on the e-e-e-e-le-e-e-phant. Great! That's a hard one to say! Who wants to try it one more time?

4. Model the letter e and its correspondence using letter boxes to spell words.

Now since you did that so good, we are going to move onto spelling words. We are going to use the letter tiles that you have at your desk to spell a word when I call it out to you. Make sure that there are only three boxes that are showing because each mouth movement deserves its own letterbox. I am going to show you how I would spell bed using your letterboxes. I would separate the sounds in bed. The first sound that I hear is /b/. So the letter b would go in my first box. The next sound that I hear is the /e/. That's our echo sound. I would put the letter e in the second box. Now the last sound that I hear in bed is /d/. That is the letter d, so I would put the letter d in the last box. Now I want you to spell pet. Does your pet like me? Tell me what was your first letter. Second? Third? Great job! The students would continue to spell the given words during the lesson as the teacher called them out. Words: (3: b-e-d,     p-e-t, s-a-ck) (4: s-p-e-d, r-e-n-t, f-a-s-t, b-l-e-ss)

5. Simple practice reading Red Gets Fed.

The students will now read Red Gets Fed with the teacher. The teacher will be using guided reading as she reads to the students. When the teacher gets to a word with /e/, then the students will read the word using their megaphone to remind them of /e/.  Boys and girls everyone needs to pay attention and keep up with me as I am reading. I want you to every time you hear me read a word with /e/ in it, I want you to get your hands up like your megaphone and then read the word with me again. Is everybody ready?

6. Whole texts using A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni.

The students will then read whisper read together Leo Lionni using a big book. The students will gather around on the carpet and read following the teacher's pointer. Every time /e/ is heard they will simply touch their ear. This will show the teacher if the students are hearing the /e/ sound as they read. Book Talk: A chameleon notices that many animals have their own color like elephants are gray and pigs are pink, but he doesn't seem to have his own color because he always changes. He is an animal that can camouflage himself with his surroundings. So he sets out to find a color of his own. Do you think that he found a color of his own, if so, what color do you think that it is?

6. Writing a message on primary paper.

Topic: What are your plans for the summer?

7. Assessment by calling out words.

Now boys and girls, I am going to see how much you remember about the /e/ sound. I am going to say two words at a time. I want you to write down the word that you hear the /e/ sound in. If you don't spell it correctly, it's ok. Do the best you can. Do you hear the /e/ sound in pet or cap? The teacher would continue to do this using words from the letterbox lesson or the book. 

* References:

    -Lauren Rockwell. It must be old!


    - Murray, B.A., and Lesniak, T. (1999) "The Letterbox Lesson:  A
     hands-on approach for teaching decoding."  The Reading Teacher, March 1999.  pp. 644-650

    -Tongue Twister


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