Eeee! Eeee! I see a bee!

Beginning Reading Lesson

By: Emily Childs


Rationale: Students must be able to recognize the letters and their sounds. Students need to understand the correspondence between written letters and their sounds. As beginning readers, it is important to give the students a connection between the grapheme and phoneme. In this lesson, students will learn ea=/E/. Students will learn to recognize /E/ in oral language by learning a fun and memorable gesture to go along with the sound in the words. Next, students will practice the sound to recognize =/E/ in words through a letterbox lesson and identify the /E/ sound in the decodable book What Will the Seal Eat?.



What Will the Seal Eat?, whiteboard and marker, letterboxes, and letter tiles (y, m, e, a, n, r, s, t, d, c, l), Jean and Dean Assessment Worksheet, pencils



1. To start, introduce the lesson by showing the students a picture of a bee (or another scary animal such as a snake or spider) and ask what their reaction would be if they saw one of these animals. Some students may be excited to see these interesting animals; however, they are all potentially harmful which is why it can be frightening to see one. Then say, 'My reaction to this picture is '/E/', because this scares me [express fright through facial and body language]! What if the bee were to sting me?! That would hurt. Can everyone repeat the /E/ sound while acting scared like I just did? Great!'

2.'The letter 'e' sometimes makes the eeee sound. I am going to say a tongue tickler and I want you each to decide if you can hear the eee sound. 'Eat the clean peach dear.' Now I want everyone to repeat the sentence back to me. Now let's stretch out the /E/ sound in the tongue tickler. 'Eeeaat the cleeaan peeach deeaar.''

3. 'I am going to say two words and I want you to listen for the /E/ sound. Raise your hand to tell me which word has the /E/ sound in it. Do you hear /E/ in tea or time, box or beach, rain or read?'

4. 'Now, we will try spelling several words with the eee /E/ sound. We will use our letterboxes and letter tiles. [Each student will have their own letterbox and tiles] I am going to spell the word treat. I need to say it slowly so that I can hear each sound the word makes. Tttt rrrr eeaa tttt. First, I hear the ttt sound so I going to place a 't' in the first letterbox. Next, I hear a rolling rrrr sound. That goes in the second letterbox. Since I only have two spots left in my letterbox, I need to figure out what is making the vowel sound and what is making the ending sound. The vowel makes a long /E/ sound. Since one 'e' cannot make that sound on its own, I know that it has another vowel to help it. Let me think back to our tongue tickler. 'Eat the clean peach dear.' All of the words with a long E sound in the tongue tickler are spelled with an e and a next to each other. That is what I will put in the third letterbox for the vowel sound. Ttt rrrr eeaa ttt. It ends in a 't' sound.' Now you are going to try this!'

5. Students will now do the letterboxes for the ea=/E/ words at their desk individually. Have children spell the following words:

a. 3: mean, year, east

b. 4: dream, clear

6. Walk around the classroom to see how the students are working on their letterboxes. This is a great observation of their thinking process and work ethic. Then, have students read aloud the words they spell as you reveal the correct spelling and letterbox placement on the board.

7. After completing the letterbox lesson, have students divide into reading pairs. 'Now that we have all done a great job with our letterboxes on the spelling of our /E/ words, we are going to practice by reading a book, What Will the Seal Eat?.' After the students pair up, give a short book talk to motivate their reading of the story. 'In this story, a seal is very hungry and he is trying to find something to eat. Everywhere selling food does not have what seals eat. I wonder if he will find something to eat! Read on with your partner and see if the seal find food or stays hungry.' Monitor the students reading with their partner as you walk around the room.

8. In order to assess the students, there needs to be an /E/ activity to help the kids remember the phoneme and grapheme correspondence. Hand out the Jean and Dean Assessment worksheet. Students will write in the correct work from the work bank to the match picture for all of the /E/ sounds. Observe the students work and assist them if they have questions or still do not understand the ea=/E/ correspondence.



Cushman, Shelia. (1990). What Will the Seal Eat? Educational Insights.

Yancey, Noie 'OH OH My Knee Hurts!!':

Assessment Worksheet

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