"Ehh?" Says Grandpa Edward"








Beginning Reading

Kimberly Barton


Rationale: In order to become better readers and decoders, children need to understand that letters represent vocal gestures or phonemes. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they need to be able to recognize phonemes in spoken words.  Short vowels are probably the toughest phonemes to identify. This lesson plan will help students to identify the correspondence e=/e/ by recognizing the sound of an elderly person ‘eh?’ throughout words.


Materials: pencil, chart with the tongue twister “Edward exercises when he gets out of bed.” Primary paper, list of pseudowords, Smart Board/ whiteboard/chalkboard, overhead projector, letterboxes and letters for letterboxes, a copy of the Rookie Reader book Pen Pals for each student, picture of Grandpa Edward with the letter e



1)     I will introduce the lesson by writing the letter e on the board (this will also model for the students to see how to write the letter e). “Who knows what letter this is? Great job, it is the letter e! We know that e can make a few sounds when we read it in a word, but today we are going to focus on when the letter e makes the sound “eh.” Just like when your grandpa or someone elderly cannot hear what you are saying and they say “Ehh? What is that you are saying sonny?” (cup my ear with my hand to show the hand gesture). Here today with us, is Grandpa Edward. He is going to help us learn this sound.” I will put up the picture of Grandpa Edward with the letter e.

2)    “Now I am going to read this tongue twister and then I want all of you to read it with me.” I will read “Edward exercises when he gets out of bed” first and model as I point to each word that I read. “Now your turn.” We will all read together. “Very good friends!”

3)    “Let’s read it again, and every time we hear Grandpa Edward’s “Eh?” (/e/) sound, let’s stretch it out and cup our ears, just like he does. I will read it first and then we will read it all together.” I read, pointing to each word and holding the pointer on e while I stretch out the sound and cup my ear. “Now your turn.” We will all read “Eeeeeeedward eeeeexerciseeeees wheeeen he geeeets out of beeeed.” “Wonderful job!”

4)    “Now we are going to play a game to see if all of you can pick out the /e/ sound in words that I say. I am going to hold up two cards with a picture and you have to tell me which word has the /e/ sound in it.” I will hold up the pictures of the words fed and sad. “Who can tell me which picture has Grandpa Edward’s “Eh?” sound in it? Right, it’s fed! Great job!” I will repeat the game with the word pairs of slept/hat, bed/door, dress/dig, mess/ball, chest/girl, and red/green.

5)    I will give each student a set of letterboxes and lower case letters for a letterbox lesson. Each student will have only the letters needed for the words we will use. “Now we are going to use our letterboxes to spell some words. Remember that each box stands for one mouth movement only. It is not just the letter, but the whole sound. Watch me as I spell out the word beg. I hear /b/ so I know there is a b, then I hear Grandpa Ed talking to us /e/ so I know e goes next, and last I hear /t/ so I know t goes at the end. Now it’s your turn!” I will call out each word and then after everyone completes the word, I will have one student come show the whole class how he/she did it on the overhead projector. After we go through every word, I will spell the words out myself without the letterboxes and have the students read the word back to me as a class.

6)    We will read the book Pen Pals and I will introduce with a book talk. Book talk: Ben is a baby boy that is in his bed one day. He starts yelling for his pet named Ted.  Ben is stuck in his crib and Ted, his pet, cannot get in.  They both are very upset so Ben cries for his dad. Do you want to see if the dad can get Ted in the bed? I wonder how he is going to do that! Let’s read to find out!

7)    I will assess the students by having them read a list of pseudowords to me individually. This is to make sure they have not just memorized the spelling or only use parts of the spelling to guess the word. The list is composed of the words: geg, dest, mag, slem, peds, lev, fesp, zed, and fap (I included review words in the list).  




Boggs, Adrienne. 

http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/begin/boggsbr.html.  "E's are E-E-E-Excellent Design for Beginning Reading."

Pen Pals. Carson. Educational Insights.


Kimberly Barton- bartokc@auburn.edu


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