Edgar the Elephant
Beginning Reading

Amber Wright



Rationale: The most important phonemes for children to learn are their short vowels.  Until children learn these phonemes, many words are impossible to decode.  Children will learn the /e/ sound in spoken words.  They will be able to find the /e/ sound in written words as well.  Students will be given ways to remember the /e/ sound and commit it to memory.



chart with elephant song on it, stuffed animal elephant, two fishing poles, fish with /e/ words on it (see below) and a paperclip attached to it, note cards with many /e/ words (see below), primary paper, pencils, letterboxes for each children, plastic letters, assessment sheet with many pictures on it (see below), huge felt e and E, overhead projector, Red Gets Fed (copies for teacher and all students), Under the Seaboard



      Can anyone tell me what this is? (hold up stuffed elephant) You are correct, this is an elephant and his name is Edgar.  I am going to say elephant really slow.  E-e-e-lephant.  Do you hear that beginning sound?  What about the name E-e-edgar?  Do the words Edgar and Elephant start with the same sound? (hang up the felt e and E on board)  This is the letter that Edgar and elephant start with.  It is an E.  This is the small e and this is the big E.  Everyone say /e/.  Notice what your mouth does.  Fill your chin when you say it and notice that it just moves slightly down.  Good job!

2.      Now I am going to teach you Edgar's favorite song.  If you look on the board you will see it written on this chart paper. I am going to sing it a few times, join in when you think you've got it.

Here comes elephant,

Here comes elephant,

How are you?

How are you?

He can say the /e/ sound.

Can you say the /e/ sound?

Yes we can! /e/ /e/ /e/

Great job guys.  You have made Edgar so proud!

3.      Now I am going to hand everyone your primary paper.  I want you to get our your pencils and we are going to practice drawing our big E and little e.  Now watch me first.  You start at the top and go down for a strong backbone, over for his hat, over for his belt, and over for his shoes.  Everyone draw your big E seven times.  Now watch me for small e.  You get in the center of the space below the fence, go toward the door, up to touch the fence, around and up.  Now draw your small e seven times. So what sound do these letters make?

4.      Now I am going to show each of you two notecards with words on them.  When it is your turn I want you to stand up and when I show you the two words, tell me which word you hear /e/ in.

        Do you hear /e/ in bell or can?

         Do you hear /e/ in yell or shout?

         Do you hear /e/ in ten or five?

         Do you hear /e/ in  egg or apple?

         Do you hear /e/ in bed or bad?

       Do you hear /e/ in leg or arm?

5.      Now I want everyone to get out your letterboxes.  I am going to give you a few words to spell. I am going to be coming around and making sure everyone gets their /e/ sound right. For example if I wanted to spell crept I would think of my first sound c-c-c I think that's a c, the rrrr, that sounds like my r, eeee, that sounds like the /e/ in Edgar's song, p-p-t-t, ew p and then t.  There is crept.  Now I want you to make some words for me. (Words: egg, bell, send, shed, went, met, then, fed).  Awesome jobs with those letterbox words!

6.      Now I am going to read the book, Red Gets Fed.  Red is a dog that loves to eat.  When he gets hungry he tries to wake up Meg and the rest of her family members. One day Red starts to get very hungry, his tummy was probably growling really loud.  Do you think he gets fed?  Let's read the book and find out.  Now when I read this I want everybody to follow along in your book.  (reads book) I am going to read the book and this time I want everyone to raise your hand when you hear the /e/ sound.  We are going to put all of the words with the /e/ sound on the board. (read book and put all words on the board with the /e/ sound).

7.      Assessment: Guys now we are going to play a game.  I am going to give you all numbers.  Now I want my one's to line up here and my two's to line up here.  (There will be a huge board painted to look like the water with fish, starfish, and sand on it.  Two students will stand at the board with fishing poles.  I will be behind the board putting fish cards on their poles with /e/ words on it.  Each student is given a chance to read the word on the fish.  If they get it correct, the student gets to keep the card.  Whichever team has the most cards at the end of the game wins. 

Words: shed, fed, beg, red, get, chest, crept, fled, west, dress, best, bleed, met, mend, blend, pet, fret, pen, ten, when, sped, led, well, etc.

8.      Assessment Continued:  I will have students come to my desk and read pseudowords to me.  "I am going to show you some words, these are not real words, I just made them up.  I want you to try your best to read them, just give it your best try." This will allow me to see if phonemic awareness has been achieved.

   Words: sep, shem, fet, bem, breck, deb, mez, smett, sleck



Mangum, Kathryn.  Eddie's Creaky Door. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/mangumbr.html

Murray, B.A., How to Teach a Letterbox lesson

Whitman, Kristan. EEEEEEh䴊Shut That Creaky Door. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/whitmanbr.html

MacPherson, Kristine- Avalanche! http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/encounters/macphersonbr.html

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