Beginning Reader Lesson Design

Eh! What’s that you said?

By: Haley Hunt


 Holding Ear

Rationale: The point of this lesson will be to recognize the individual phone /e/=e. Children must be able to recognize that phonemes are represented by letters in spoken words. For children to be able to recognize that every sound has a letter associated with it we must learn phonemes. The students will be given instruction to decode short e words, as well as sight words. My goal of this lesson is for the students to be able to read and spell words with /e/ n them. With a letter box lesson the students will be able to hear the phonemes in the word. The students will also get extra practice through decodable books.

Materials:  Graphic Image of man trying to hear, cover up critter, white board, expo markers for modeling elkonin boxes, individual elkonin boxes for students, letters in plastic bags for elkonin boxes – b, e, d, f, p, t, s, n, l, t. Word list 3- jet, fed, beg, pen, 4- bled, yell, rent, 5- blend, trend, stress.


1.)  “Today we will be working with the mouth  movement that helps us make the sound letter e. This is what e looks like ( write e on the white board for a visual aid). This sounds like eh; kind like the sound  someone makes when they can’t hear you. “ Model cupping your hand behind your ear while making the /e/ sound.

2.)  “Now I want you to listen to tongue twister as  I say it ‘Elizabeth has eleven elves in her elm. ‘- Will you read it with me this time?” We will read it together as I point to the words in the tongue twister. “ We will say it one more time but this time I want you to cup your hand behind your ear when you hear the /e/ sound.

3.)  Read the words and ask students to raise their hand and tell you if they hear /e/ in mess or nat? mall or pet? Dog or bent?

4.)  “ At this time we will get out our letter bags and I need you to turn all of your letters facing up. Get your letter box out as well. My word is pen. We hear the /p/ before the /e/ so we will put /p/ first. Now I hear /n/ so we will put pennnnn. P-e-n-.

5.)  Now we will work with the words. ( you will walk around the classroom and observe the students.) beg, fed, pet, ten, bad, mat, yell, rent, blend, trend, stress, mess. If child has misspelled the words read aloud the word they have spelled and see if they will self correct. If it is still incorrect say, “ Well if we were to see this word in  a book it would be spelled like this m-e-s-s.”

6.)  We will then read Pen Pals. I will do a book read explaining, “ This story is about a baby boy named Ben, he starts to cry and his pet ted comes up. Ted is unable to comfort Ben because he is a dog. How do you think he will get out, or will he?” I guess you will have to keep reading.


 Before we finish this lesson I want to see if we can work on short /e/. I will have a worksheet that will show me if the students will hear the short /e/ sound and can distinguish it. The students will have color in the eggs with the short /e/.


Cushman, Shelia. Pen Pals. Carson, Ca. 1990. Educational Insights.

Eh? Whats that you say sonny?

By: Candace Sanders

Reading Genie Website


Short /e/ worksheet

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