Ehhh! What'd ya say? Eeeggs

Beginning Reading

Jenna Landers

    For every child to know how to read they have to understand that words are made from letters and each letter has one or more phonemes. A phoneme is a vocal gesture or a mouth formation.  One of the best predictors of reading proficiency is phoneme awareness.  It is very important for students to learn the different phoneme in the English language.  The hardest phonemes to learn are the vowels.  This lesson is going to cover one of the vowels; short e. Students will be able to distinguish this sound /e/ in written and spoken words. Students will also be able tp spell using letterbox lessons and read words from letterbox lesson on the board. 

Primary Paper


Dry erase Board and markers

Sentence Strip with Tongue Twister [Even elephants enjoy eating extra tasty eggs.]

Copies of Red Gets Fed for the class

Elkonin boxes for every student

Letters for every student (e,e,d,a,t,b,c,k,l,l,n,p,s,and w)

Big Elkonin Boxes with magnets to attach to the board

Letter with magnets for the board (e,e,d,a,t,b,c,k,l,l,n,p,s,and w)


1. I will start by introducing the lesson and explaining to the students that writing a tuff work and it is tuff because we have to crack the secret code.  The code is that letters sounds are the mouth shapes we make as we say words.  This lesson is going to talk about the mouth shape we make when we say /e/.

2. Ask students: Do you know the sound an older person makes when they did not hear what you said? They make an /eehh/ what'd ya say? Sound. Everyone repeat that sound. Great Job! But when you make that sound place your hand around your ear like this. (Show the students what you mean). Now, I'm going to show you how to hear that sound in eggs. E-e-e-e-eggs.  That's good. Did you hear it? Now everyone say e-e-e-eggs with me stretching the /e/ sound out. Don't forget to place your hand around your ear when you hear /e/. Great job you found grandma.

 3. Now, let's say this tongue twister together. Even elephants enjoy eating extra tasty eggs.  Good! Now let's say it all together by this time place your hand on your ear when you hear the /e/ sound. Even elephants enjoy eating extra tasty eggs. Great, now let's say it together and stretch that /e/ sound out just like grandma.  Even elephants enjoy eating extra tasty eggs.  You all did a great job.

 4. Let's take out your primary paper and I want everyone to put their pencil below the fence.  We are going to practice writing lowercase e's.  Everyone have your pencil below the fence, ok I want you to draw a straight line then curve over to the fence and down to the sidewalk.  Everyone get that, let's do it one more time together. (Repeat what you just did).  This time I want you to write it but as you are writing it I want you to say /ehhhh/, like grandma.  Now, let's practice uppercase E.  Put your pencil on the rooftop and bring it straight down to the sidewalk.  Then go back to the rooftop and draw a flat line at the rooftop, fence, and sidewalk.  That is how you draw an uppercase E.  Everyone get that, let's do it one more time together. (Repeat what you just did).  Now, everyone try drawing the uppercase E again but this time say ehhh, like grandma.  Finish out the lines that we started with the lowercase e and the upper case E.

 5. I'm going to ask you some questions as a class to see if you her the /e/ sound in which word.  One word has the /e/ sound and one does not.  Tell me the one that does.  Do you hear the /e/ sound in fed or chop? See or send? Roof or west? Dress or hat? Good Job!!

 6. Now I want you to get out your boxes and your letters.  We are going to spell some words that have the /e/ sound in them.  Before you spell them I'm going to tell you how many boxes you should have folded out.  (I will first model how to put each letter sound in the box then give the students different words to put into practice on their own.) "Now the word I'm going to do first is /h/ /e/ /n/ I am going to put each mouth move, sound, in a box.  /h/ is one sound so we are going to put that in the first box, /e/ is the second sound it is going to go in the second box, and /n/ is going to go in the third box."  This word only has three boxes and that's how we fill them.  Now I want you to try it.  I'm going to give the students words to spell, make sure I use it a sentence, and make sure I tell them how many boxes.  2-[Ed, at] 3- [tab, deck,] 4- [bled, bend, plan, swell, cent] 5-[plant, blend]. Walk around the room to make sure they are placing the letters in the correct boxes.  If they spell it wrong read what they spelled and sees if they can correct it on their own.  If not then model and explain the correct way to spell the word. 

 7. Put the words from the letterbox lesson one by one on the board and have the children read the words.  Model for the students how to read the word if they seem to struggle.  You can model sounding out the word with the vowel first or the first letter of the word which ever you fill more comfortable.

 8. Great job! Now we are going to read a book and see if we can listen for the /e/ sound in it. Every time you hear the /e/ I want you to put you hand to your ear like Grandma.  The book we are going to read is Red Gets Fed.  Red is a dog that is tricky at times.  He really enjoys eating.  The book is about a trick that he tries to play on his family wonder what it is? Let's read Red Gets Fed. I'm going to pair the students up and have them read it in partners as I walk around and listen for strugglers.

9. Assessment is going to be individuals coming up to my desk and reading Red Gets Fed.  I'm going to do a running record on the students and see if they are picking up on the correspondences or not.


Murray,B.A., and Lesniak, T. (1999) The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-656.

 Red Gets Fed. Educational Insight.

 Mc Lure, Stephanie."Creeeaky Door E".

 Barrera, Deanna. "Exciting E's "/e/... what did you say?" EXCITING E'S"

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