Eh? I can't hear you!


A Beginning Reading Lesson

By Maggie Dean



Rationale: In order for students to learn how to be independent readers, it is essential that they first identify and become aware of the phonemes spoken in our language. This lesson teaches children about the short vowel correspondence e=/e/. Students will learn a meaningful representation that demonstrates this short vowel letter sound(boy cupping his ear because he can't hear), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence e=/e/.




Graphic image of boy cupping his ear


Cover-up critter


Elkonin boxes for modeling and for students use


Letter manipulative for each student to use for the Elkonin box


Chart with the word fret on it to model how to read a word


List of spelling words on paper for student to read: Ed, Ten, well, neck, went, slept


Decodable book: Red Gets Fed


Assessment worksheet





1. Say: In order to become an expert reader, we have to learn the code that teaches us how to pronounce words and read. The first correspondence we learned how to pronounce was a=/a/, like bat, and today we are going to learn about the short vowel e=/e/. When I say /e/ it makes me think of someone cupping their ear like they are having a hard time hearing.


2. Say: This is a picture of a boy cupping his ear because he can't hear what his friend is trying to tell him. "Ehh? What did you say?" Can you make that sound as in you are trying to hear what I am saying? When pronouncing this sound, it helps to have your mouth open while keeping your tongue behind your bottom teeth. (Let student practice several times making the /e/ sound.) Do you hear the /e/ sound when you do that? I hear /e/ in leg. Do you hear /e/ in bag, pain, or bet?


3. Say: Now let's look at the spelling of e=/e/ that we will learn today. Let me show you how to spell spent. I spent my whole allowance on my new bike. To spell spent in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes are in the word: /s//p//e//n//t/. I need 5 boxes. I heard the /e/ just before the /n/ so I am going to put an e in the third box. The word starts with an /s/, so I will put an s in the first box. I am going to sound out the word slowly to fill in my missing letters, /s//p//e//n//t/. I heard a /p/ so I will put a p right after the s. So now I have s-p-e-n, I hear a /t/ at the end of the word so I will put a t in the fifth box.

Now I am going to show you how I would read a tough word. Look at this chart as I read the word fret. I am going to start with e that makes the sound of the boy who can't hear what his friend is saying. I will put the beginning letters with it, f-r-e, fre-. So far so good. Now I will add the chunk onto the last sound, /fre-t/. Oh, fret, like "My mom told me not to fret over spilled milk."


4. Say: Now you are going to spell a few words using letterboxes. Begin by spelling Ed using two boxes. Ed is someone's name. "My dad's name is Ed." I will walk around the room to make sure you are spelling and using your letterboxes correctly. You will need three letterboxes for the next three words. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /e/. Spell the word ten, I have ten fingers; ten. (Allow children to spell the rest of the words and give a sentence for each word: well, neck, went, slept.)


5. Say: Now I want you to read all of the words you have spelled together as a class as I point to each one on the chart. Then I will let each student read a word from the chart aloud as I point to a word.


6. Now you are going to read a book called Red Gets Fed. Red is the pet of Meg. Meg is in bed. Red begs to get fed. Will Meg get up and feed him? Pair up with you neighbor and take turns reading to find out if Red will ever get fed. Use your cover-up critter to guide you as you read the text.


7. To finish up our lesson on e=/e/ I am going to pass out a worksheet to see how well you know what was taught in this lesson. Draw a line to the picture that begins with the sound of the letter.





Decodable text: Red Gets Fed. Phonics Readers.


Assessment worksheet:


Casey Moore, Eleanor the Elephant

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