Beat the Heat
Melinda McDonald
Beginning Reader


Phonics instruction helps with teaching children how to determine vowel sounds in words based upon each word's written syllable pattern.  This will help children recognize a vowel digraph in written texts or heard in spoken words.  Children will recognize ea=/E/ correspondence.


Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Beat the heat with an ice cream treat;" decodable book Lee and the Team; picture worksheet.


1. Introduce the lesson by reviewing the five short vowels.  Today we are going to go over two vowels.  When they are together they make a long vowel sound.  They are the vowel e and a.  This makes a long E sound.

2.  Ask students.  Have you ever made a loud shriek noise?  Have you ever been scared and screamed?  When you do this you usually make a loud /E/.  Now this is a good way to remember the long E sound.  Or you could remember it because it sounds just like its letter name.  When e and a are together they usually say /E/.  Write the words peach, stream, and dear on board.  Go over words and drag out ea=/E/.  Now lets say them together.  See how they sound alike.

3.  Lets say a fun tongue twister.  Get out the chart with tongue twister on it.  "Beat the heat with an ice cream treat."  Now let's say it together.  Great good job!  Now listen to me when you hear a /E/ sound in the tongue twister I want you to stand up and when you don't hear it sit down.  Okay, let's do it.  The class does activity.  You guys were awesome!

4.  Now let's see if you guys can pick out the /E/ sound.  Do you hear /E/ in team or trap?  Drape or dream?  Sea or sell?

5.  [Pass out primary paper and pencil.] Write "ea" on board.  Explain to kids this is the two vowels that represent /E/ sound.  Now I want you to write a whole row of "ea  ea  ea."  Just like I did!  When your done bring it to me and I will give you a smiley face for great work.  Remember to space out your "ea."  If you need help look at board.

6.  Let the class read Lee and the Team.  Now I want every one to read at least one page from the book.  While your reading, if you come across a word with ea=/E/ let me know and I will write it on the board.  After the story is over go over the words with the class.  Now class I want you to write a message about the book and draw a baseball team you like.

7.  For assessment, distribute the picture worksheet.  Have students read picture aloud then circle the picture if they have the ea=/E/ in their name.


Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms, written by Lloyd Elredge (1995), published by Prentice Hall, pages 35-48.
Ideas from reading genie website:
Click here to return to Openings.