Smile and Say EEEEE!!!!!!

smiley dots

Emergent Literacy

Emily Young


Rationale: To become a successful reader a child must be able to recognize phonemes in spoken words as well as their corresponding graphemes in written words.  Children need to know their long vowels and /E/ is one importance because of its frequency in the English language.  This lesson will help children to master the /E/ sound through gestures, tongue twisters, writing practice, and independent work.



Primary paper and pencil

Poster with “Eagles eat electric eels easily.”

Poster with lower case e written on it (lines drawn like primary paper)

Marker for poster

Dry erase board/chalkboard and marker/chalk

Yellow circles cut from construction paper


Worksheet with pictures of objects that contain /E/ (green, bee, eel etc.)  and objects that do not (crab, brick, elephant, etc.)



 1)      Introduce the lesson by telling children that our written language is a secret code that we have to figure out in order to read.  Also, explain to children that each letter has its very own mouth movement and today we are going to be learning about the letter /E/.


2)      Ask the students: Have you ever had your picture taken? What are the two things that the photographer tells you to do? He tells you to smile and say CHEEEEEEESE!!!! Well that is our mouth movement for the day. Let’s pretend that we having our picture taken. We need to smile really big and say cheeeeeeese!!!! Lets all do it together!


3)      Let’s try a tongue twister (on poster): “Eagles eat electric eels easily.” “Now let’s see if we can say it together 3 times. Good job everyone! Now say it again, but this time lets stretch out the /E/.”  EEEEEagles eeeeeeeeat eeeeeeelectric eeeeeeeels eeeeeeeeaslily. “Lets do it together one more time, but as we say it lets break off the /E/.”  /E/ agles /E/ at /E/ lectric /E/ els /E/ asily.


4)      (Have students take out primary paper and pencil) The sound /E/ is represented by two lower case e’s. “Let’s practice writing one lower case e.To do this we get in the center of the space right below the fence, go toward the door (right), up to touch the fence, then around and up. I would like to see everyone’s e. After I put a check mark on your paper, I want you to write nine more e’s.” “Now let’s put two lower case e’s together to represent our /E/ sound. After I put a check mark on your paper, I want you to write nine ee’s.


5)      Let me show you how to find the /e/ in the word leaf. I’m going to stretch out the word leaf in super slow motion and listen to hear the doctor sound.  lll. llleeeaaa. There it is!  I do hear our smile and say cheese noise in leaf.


6)      )  Call on students to answer and ask them how they knew.  Do you hear the /e/ sound in green or purpletea or juice bee or grasshopper flower or tree?  Ask children to raise their hands if they can think of a work with the /E/ sound in it.  Write their responses on the board.


7)      Next pass out yellow circles made from construction paper and crayons. Instruct the students to draw a “smile and say cheese face” on their circle. When the students have completed this task, give them instructions. Tell them that you are going to read a book full of words that have our “smile and say cheese” sound in them and to help show that we hear our sound; we are going to hold up our faces that we just made.


8)      Introduce the book Lee and the Team. Give a brief booktalk to get the student’s engaged. Lee is the leader of his baseball team. One day the team is late for a big game. Lee needs to get his team to the game. Will he be able to get them there on time?


9)      Read Lee and the Team to the students. After you finish reading, ask the students to give examples of words form the book that had the /E/ sound in them.


10)  Pass out the worksheet that has pictures of things that with the /E/ sound and others that do not contain the /e/ sound.  Instruct students to circlepictures that contain the /E/ sound and make an X through the pictures that do not.  If time permits, children may color in the pictures.

Evaluate the picture worksheet that the students complete. Looking at whether or not they circled and Xed the correct pictures will let the teacher know if they             understand the /E/ sound.


            Heather Lynch. Reading Genie Website. Stick Out Your Tongue….and say ah!

 How to Print Letters (handout). Bruce Murray, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, 2007.

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