“Easy E Street”

II. Beginning to Read

Whitney Patterson



In order for students to become successful readers, they must develop skills to help them decode words with success.  Children need to understand the alphabetic principle that spellings map the phoneme sequence of spoken words. It is helpful to teach students that the same letter can make more than one sound. It is also important for students to understand that the correspondences can be spelled and pronounced differently. This lesson will review e=/e/ and introduce ee=/E/ by using instruction, decodable books, and worksheets.



Primary paper, pencils, Lee and the Team decodable text (one per student), Elkonin letter boxes (one per student), 1 large Elkonin letter box drawn in permanent marker on transparency (for teacher), overhead projector, set of letters (divided equally for each student in Ziploc baggie) with the letters: b, c, d, e, e, g, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, and w, permanent marker, transparency, dry erase marker (other than black), poster with tongue twister: “Three sweet bees sleep under the tree”, worksheet with the ee=/E/ correspondences to match the words with the pictures with the following words: tepee, sheep, wheel, green, creek, needle, sleep, queen, street (1 per student).



1.) First review the /e/=/e/ correspondence and the sound. “Class, do you remember when we learned about short /e/? What sound does short /e/ make? Eeehhhhh!!! That’s right! Short /e/ sounds like someone hard of hearing saying Eeehhh!!! Now I’m going to say some words and I want you to raise your hand when you hear a word with short /e/. Do you hear the /e/ sound in pop or pet? Smell or small? Brag or best? Egg or yolk? Help or hike?” “Great job! The /e/ sound was in pet, smell, best, egg, and help.”

2.) “Today, we’re going to learn another sound /e/ makes. We just reviewed the sound short /e/ makes, and today we will learn about long /E/. When I put e and e together, this is called ee=/E/ correspondence. Long /E/ sounds like someone who is scared and screams, EEEEEEEEEE!!!! Have you ever been scared before? Let’s pretend we are all scared and when I count to three, let’s makes our long /E/ sound. Ready? One, two, three! EEEEEEEE!!!!! Great Job!”

3.) “Now I have a silly tongue twister to share with you. First, I will read it to you, and then I want you to say it with me. Listen carefully. Three sweet bees sleep under the tree. Now you say it with me this time.  Three sweet bees sleep under the tree. Wonderful! Now, we will say it again, but this time we will stretch out the /E/ sound whenever we hear it. Ready? Let’s try it together. Threeeeee sweeeeeet beeeeees sleeeeeep under the treeeeeee. Excellent! Now, what sound does the ee=/E/ correspondence make? EEEEEE!!!! Way to go!”

4.) Distribute Ziploc baggies of letters and individual letterboxes for students. Teacher uses overhead and begins by drawing 2 boxes. “Class, I’m going to spell the word bee, but I can’t remember if the ee goes in one box together or if they each get their own separate box. What do you think? Correct! The two e’s are buddies and always go together in one box since we only hear one /e/ when we say bee. And the letter b goes in the first box. Great! Now let’s try 3 boxes.” Teacher draws another box and transparency. I’m going to spell meet. Like someone might say, It was good to meet you the other day!  With this word, the ee goes in the 2nd box. Then, we add our /m/ at the beginning and the /t/ in the last box.” Go through each word for the different letterboxes. 2-(bee, see), 3-(meet, leek, tree), 4-(green, sweep, steep, speed), 5-(street, screen). Walk around the room and observe students letterboxes for each word to see if they are using the correct number of letterboxes and putting each “mouth move” in the correct box.

5.) “Now I’m going to read you a story called Lee and the Team. Let me tell you about Lee. He is really great baseball player, but his team is really lazy. Suddenly, Lee realizes he and his teammates are late for a game. He’s teammates won’t get up. I wonder if they will make it to the game on time to play! Let’s read and find out what happens!” (Read Lee and the Team).

6.) For assessment, give each student a worksheet with the ee=/E/ correspondence and have them match the picture with the word.



Cushman, Sheila.  (1990). Lee and the TeamCarson, CA: Educational Insights.

Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-on Approach for Teaching Decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, p. 644-650.

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