Breaking the alphabetic code that is
part of the English language is completely essential in order for
children to learn how to read. The key to breaking this important code
is gaining the understanding that letters represent phonemes, or mouth
moves in spoken words, and that letter symbols correspond to the mouth
moves. The first step in the reading process is to teach children to
hear phonemes in spoken words, which is the goal of this lesson. After
the lesson, the students will be able to recognize /E/, the long e
sound. They will learn to identify /E/ in spoken words by learning its
letter symbols, having /E/ being represented meaningfully and memorably
in an imaginative skit, learning a tongue twister, and finding /E/ in
- computer-size sheet of paper with ee written on it
- half sheet of poster board with primary lines drawn on it to
model how to write ee
- marker for modeling ee
and recording words
- primary paper (for each student)
- pencils (for each student)
- poster with tongue twister written on it "Eagles eat
- poster board for recording words in the shape of a magnifying
- computer paper - top half blank and bottom half with primary
for illustration and message
- crayons for illustration and assessment worksheet
- picture page worksheets (for each student) with the following
pictures, some of which have the /E/ sound and some that do not: tee, bird, bee, fish, leaf, man, street, hat, seed, kitten
1. Begin the lesson by asking the
students if they know what a detective's job is. After listening to
their responses, inform the students: "Detectives have very important
jobs: when there is a problem that needs to be solved, they have to
all of the clues and then look at those clues very carefully to solve
the problem. Today each of you is going to be like a detective because
you are going to figure out a secret code! Where have you seen words
before? (Possible responses: books, television, signs on the road, food
containers, etc.) Right! All of those words are made up of symbols
called letters, and each of those letters is part of the secret code.
The letters that make up the words you see stand for mouth moves. Can
you say detective? Let's say it together, and pay close attention to
your mouth - 'detective'. Did you feel your mouth moving? In order to
read the words that you see everywhere, you have to know all of the
mouth moves for the secret code. Guess what? You are going to learn one
of the mouth moves to help you break the secret code. Remember, you are
playing detective, so think of the mouth move as an important
clue! Today you are going to work on finding the mouth move /E/.
I know it might seem sort of tricky at first, but you are so smart -”I
know you can do it!"
2. Tell the students: "We can use two
letter e's together to spell
/E/ (show card with ee).
(Pass out primary
paper and pencils.) Let's write ee.
(Model how to write ee while
speaking.) Put your pencil right in the middle between the sidewalk and
the fence, draw a line straight to the right, curve around up to the
fence and then down to the sidewalk, touching the place where your
pencil started on the way! That was one
e. Now we have to make another
one right next to it to make ee, so let's start right in the middle
again between the sidewalk and the fence, draw a line straight to the
right, curve around up to the fence and then down to the sidewalk, just
like a little c, touching the
place where your pencil started on the way! Hold up your ee's for me to
see. Great job! Now I want you to make four more ee's on your own just
like the first two that you wrote. Every time you see ee in a word,
those ee's are telling you to
3. Tell the students: "Now we are
going to play a pretending game. I want you to close your eyes with me,
and let's pretend it is almost time for bed. You just got done watching
your favorite show on television, and you know you are really sleepy
because you keep yawning and rubbing your eyes. You get off the couch
and walk slowly to your room, very slowly, because you are just so
tired. You finally make it to your room and your bed looks nice and
cozy, but as you pull back your covers to climb in, you see a big mouse
in your bed! Eeeee! Alright, you can open your eyes now. Oh my
goodness, how would you feel if that happened? I know I would be really
scared! I would probably put my hands to my cheeks and make that /E/
sound that I made just a second ago. Let's think about finding this
mouse in our bed (show picture of mouse) and make that noise together.
Put your hands on your cheeks and say /E/."
4. Tell the students: "Let's do a
tongue twister now! (Show poster while reading the tongue
twister.) I'm going to say it once, and then I want you to say it
with me. 'Eagles eat electric eels easily.' Now you say it with me
three times. Let's say it again, except this time we are going to
stretch out the /E/ sound, and let's put our hands to our cheeks while
we say the /E/ sound like we have just seen a mouse in our bed!
'Eeeeeagles eeeeeat eeeeelectric eeeeels eeeeeasily.' Let's say this
silly sentence one last time. This time we are going to break that /E/
sound off of the words! 'Ea-gles ea-t e-lectric ee-ls ea-sily.'"
5. Tell the students: "Now I am going
to play detective, just like we talked about earlier, and see if I can
find /E/ in a word! Let's see, I'm going to find /E/ in green. Hmm...
g-g-g-r-ee-n. G-g-g-r-r-ee-ee-ee... Oh, I found it! I heard that /E/
sound that we might make if we found a mouse in our beds!"
6. Tell the students: "Now it's your
turn to play detective. I want you to raise your hand if you think you
know the answer. If it helps you, think about how you would say /E/ and
put your hands on your cheeks as if you just saw a mouse in your bed
(Make sure each student answers at least once, and ask the students how
they knew the answer.) Do you hear /E/ in see or smell? Ant or bee?
Awake or asleep? Sweet or nice? Rain or sleet? Great job! Now I am
going to say a silly sentence slowly, and if you hear /E/, I want you
to put your hands on your cheeks like you have just seen a mouse in
your bed! Even , the , Easter , bunny , likes , leaving
, Easter , eggs , in , the , green , grass."
7. Tell the students: "Now I have a
great book that I am going to read! It is called The Mean Geese. On the
front page of the book are the mean geese that the title is talking
about, and they really are mean! They are mean to a mother cat and her
kittens and a nice dog named Lad. The geese even start nipping at poor
Lad's feet, and when he jumps in the stream to try to get away from the
geese, they follow him! Let's read the book to see if Lad gets away
from those mean geese! (Read the story, making conversationg about the
book throughout to help children make connections and remain engaged
with the meaning.) Now I am going to read the story again, but this
time every time you hear /E/, I want you to put your hands on your
cheeks like you were so scared because you found that pesky mouse in
your bed, and I will put those words on my poster! Let's see if we can
find all of the words with /E/ in them! (Read the story again and write
the words on the poster.) Now you get to draw a picture of geese and
write a message about them (with invented spelling). When you are
finished I will hang up your work!"
8. For assessment, pass out the
picture page worksheet and make sure each student knows the name of
every picture. Tell the students: "I want you to color all of the
pictures that have /E/ in their name."
Lynch, Heather. Stick out your
tongue... and say ah!. Retrieved January 25, 2007 from:
Murray, Geri. Mean Gease.
Retrieved January 25, 2007 from: