egg-xtra e!

Beginning Reading Design

Elizabeth Anne Odom

Rationale: Phonemic Awareness is a vital part in beginning reading. Without Phonemic Awareness children are unable to recognize the phonemes in spoken words.  With that said it is critical for beginning readers to clearly understand the alphabetic principle.  Vowels are the hardest concept to learn, therefore a lot of time and practice is necessary.  This lesson is designed to have the children recognize, spell, and read words that contain the correspondence e=/e/.  The students will learn meaningful representation of the letter and have plenty of practice with written and spoken words which contain e=/e/.

Materials: Primary paper, pencils, book Red Gets Fed for every student, letter boxes and letters (r, g, e, t, b, d, m, n, f )


1.   1. Today we are going to learn about short e.  Has anyone ever stretched for a really long time?  When you stretched did you make a sound that sounded like Ehhh? (Model) I know when I stretch I sometimes make the ehhh sound as I am stretching my legs and arms out.  Let’s all practice stretching together and making the Ehhhh sound.  That’s right!  It sounds like you really needed that stretch! Good job!

2.  Now I want you to listen to this tongue twister:  “Ellie, the eggplant colored elephant, especially loves eggs”. Now lets say it together, but this time I want you all to stretch your arms up when you hear the /e/ sound: “Ellie the eggplant colored elephant especially loves eggs.”  Good job!! Now listen closely, do you hear /e/ in let or lot? pet or put? Ted or Todd?

3. Let’s all take out our primary writing paper and our pencils.  Now, I want everyone to think really hard of a word that has short e sound in it and write in on your primary writing paper.  Keep your paper out so that we can go back to it later.

4. Now I want everyone to pull out their letterboxes and their letters.  Remember each box will have a different phoneme in it.  (I will demonstrate for them on the board)  When I spell the word pet, I will only need three boxes because there are three phonemes.  Show them on the board by drawing three boxes.  Can everyone say the word pet with me?  Good job!  Now I want to spell the word peck.  Peck has three phonemes just like pet does, so I will only need three boxes.  But, peck has four letters, so where do we put the fourth letter?   Let’s say the word peck together, peck, and see there are only three mouth movements in peck.  I will put /p/ in the first box, /e/ in the second box, and /ck/ in the third box.  Now read the word, peck. Good!

5. Now it is your turn to try some.  I want you to listen to the words that I call out and use your letterboxes and letters to spell the word using the correct number of phonemes.  The first word is Ed, how many phonemes are in the word Ed? Two, so you would only use two letterboxes for the word Ed.  I would continue by having the children spell the following words:  3- red, get, 4- mend, sent.

6. Now take out the book Red Gets Fed.  Book Talk:  This is a book about a dog who is hungry and he goes around to everyone in the house to try and get fed.  Do you think that he will eventually get fed?" Let's all read aloud to ourselves.  As you are reading I will come around and listen to each of you.  After you have all read the book individually I will read the book out loud to you and I want you to stretch your arms into the air when you hear the /e/ sound." 

7. For assessment:  "Now I want all of you to now pull out your primary writing paper with the word that you wrote on it earlier.  I want you  to write a sentence using the short e word that you have chosen.  When you are done writing your sentence underline the word that                 you used for your short e sound, and bring it up to me one at a time.
   When you come to my desk I will have a short list of words for you to read.  (Words: lend, rent, set, when)  to make sure that we all understand the short /e/ sound.


Bruce Murray: Information from class lecture notes.

The Reading Genie Website:

Cushman, Sheila. Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights: Carson, CA. 1990.

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