Eddie's Creaky Door

Hayle Lipham

Beginning to Read


Phoneme awareness is the ability to recognize sounds in vocal gestures and words. Phoneme awareness is very important for reading. Beginning readers need lots of practice with phonemes to be able to decode words. In this lesson I am going to teach the letter correspondence e = /e/. The students will learn, through a letter box lesson and the reading of a book, how to spell, read, and recognize words with the e = /e/ sound. 


Picture of a creaky door

Copy of the tongue twister: Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant.

 Elkonin boxes (enough for each student and teacher)

Letters for each student and teacher: a,t,n,h,e,b,d,l,p,s,r

Note cards containing the words: at, tan, hen, bed, help, send, shred, spent

List of pseudo words: heb, sez, dret, lmet, kleb

The book, Red Gets Fed (enough for each pair of students)

Primary paper (enough for each student)

Pencils (enough for each student)



1. Place the picture of the creaky door on the board. Inform the children about when you open a creaky door it says e = /e/. Show the children the hand gesture of opening a creaky door. "Can you make the creaky door sound with me?" "Good job everyone." "This is the sound that the short e makes."

2. Now place the tongue twister in front of the class. "We are going to say this tongue twister, but first I am going to read it to you and the second time we will read it as a class and we will stretch out our /e/ sound." Use the pointer to point to each word during the tongue twister. Everybody saw Eddie and the Eskimo enter the elevator on the elephant. "Now we are going to say it together, remember to stretch out the /e/ sound." "Eeeeeverybody saw Eeeeddie and the Eeeeskimo eeenter the eeelevator on the eeelephant." Good job, I love hearing that creaky door /e/."

3. Give each child a set of Elkonin boxes and the pre-selected letters that spell the words that will be given. First model how to spell the word with the e = /e/ correspondence. "I am going to do the first word to show you what to do. "The first word is get." "I am going to stretch out all of the sounds that I hear, ggggg, eeeee, tttttt. The first sound I hear is the ggggg sound, so I am going to put a /g/ in the first box. I believe that I hear our creaky door sound next, so I will put a /e/ in the second box. Ok, now I have ggggg, eeeee. T comes next because of the ttttttt sound, so I will put a /t/ in the last box. I think that is all the sounds in get, let me check, ggggg/eeeee/tttttt. Yes! That is it! Now, let us see if you can do some on your own."

4. Now begin the Letter Box Lesson. In the word list include words that contain /e/ but also include review words. Call out one word at a time while the teacher walks around the room to provide guided assistance. If a student misspells a word, pronounce it exactly as they have spelled it and ask them to try again. Once all the students have spelled all of the words correctly move on to the next word. LBL word list: 2 phonemes: at; 3 phonemes: tan, hen, bed; 4 phonemes: shred, help, send; 5 phonemes: spent; Once all of the words have been spelled, have the students read the words from the note cards, teacher will model first. "I am going to show you how to read the first word. The word is s-h-r-e-d. Let us see, sh says /sh/, and r makes the /r/ sound, while the d makes the /d/ sound and we learned today that the e makes the /e/ sound. So if I put all of this together, sshh/rrr/eee/ddd . Shred! The word is shred." After all of the words have been read, take up all of the materials from the LBL.

5. Divide the students into groups of two and give each group a book, Red Gets Fed. Give a brief book talk so that the students get excited about the book. "Red is a dog who loves his friend Meg. Red is trying to wake up Meg, what do you think Red is wanting from Meg? Let's read to find out!" Inform the students that one partner is to read one page and the other partner is to read the next, they will keep switching until they have read the whole book. The teacher will walk around while the groups are reading to monitor their reading.

6. After they have finished their reading, they are to return their book to the teacher and they will get a piece of paper and a pencil from the teacher. The students will write a message about what their favorite food is.

7. While the students are writing their message, the teacher will call up each child individually to assess their knowledge of the e = /e/ correspondence by how many pseudo words they get correctly. The teacher will give the list of words to the student and if the student pronounces the e = /e/ correctly in a word, the teacher will give them credit for that particular word. This will provide a wonderful assessment of the students ability to read using this correspondence.


1. Cushman, Sheila. Red Gets Fed. Educational Insights. Carson, CA:  1990
2. /e/ in eeeeeecchhoo! By Hope Churchwell http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/navig/churchwellbr.html
3. Murray, B.A., How to Teach a Letterbox lesson
4.Murray, B.A., Making Friends with Phonemes
5.Wallach, M. A., & Wallach, L. (1976). Teaching all children to read. Chicago:  University of Chicago Press. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/twisters.html

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