EEK! Eels Are Real!

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

By: Sterling Wine






A.   Rationale: The lesson teaches children about the long E correspondence ea=/E. For children to be able to read they must recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson the children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling ee/ea. They will learn meaningful representation (scared face saying EEK, eels are real.) I will use a letterbox lesson to have them spell and read words with this spelling correspondence. They will also be able to read a decodable book that is focused on the long E correspondence.

B.   Materials: Graphic image of an Eel, cover up critter, whiteboard for elkonian boxes for modeling, and Elkonian boxes for each student, letters for each child, magnetic letters for whiteboard, list of spelling words on a poster, sneak, dream, treat, least, scream Letters: s, n, e, e, a, k, d, r, m, t, t, g, l, c, w. Decodable text The Mean Geese and assessment worksheet

C.   Procedures:

a.     SAY: For you to become a star reader you must be able to recognize special ways to spell things and recognize them with your eyes. We have already learned how to say words with short e like sled and now we are going to learn the long E sounds, and that when we see ea together they are going to make the long E sound. When I think of long E I think of the EEK! Eels are real. Now I am going to show you what long E looks like in many spellings. One spelling that makes long E is two ee’s right next to each other like in meet or sleep. Another spelling of long E is ea, like in dream or sneak.

b.     SAY: Before we learn how to spell words with long /E/ we are going to listen to them in words. When I hear an /E/ word, I look for people making a half smile and starting to show their teeth, when people pull their smile back to show their teeth we hear that long /E/ sound. If you hear that /E/ sound say Eek! Eels are real. If you do not hear that /E/ just say yuck! I am going to see if we hear it in Sweet, did you see my teeth and a half smile? I think I did, so we hear long E in sweet.  Your turn, do you hear long E in green? How about in: sleet, cream, greek, treed, spree? (Have the children point to their teeth when they hear long E)?

c.      SAY: So what if I wanted to spell the word dream? “ I had a dream last night I was eating a mountain of ice cream.” The first thing I need to do is to figure out how many phonemes dream has, I am going to sound out /d/ /r/ /ea/ /m/, after doing this I can see that dream has 4 phonemes. I am going to need 4 boxes. Why do you think there are only 4 phonemes but there are 5 letter? The reason we only need 4 boxes is because ea makes one sound, E. Ok so we know that dream starts with the d-d-d- sound so I am going to but a d in the first box, next I hear r-r-r like a lion roar, so we put an r in box two, next is the long E, we are going to put an e and an a in the third box to give us that long E sound, and lastly we hear m-m-m and we will place in m in box 4. I am going to show you how to read a tougher word, (show poster with words) treat. We are going to start with the ea because we know that it says E, now we are going to sound out the beginning letters t-t-t as in turtle, r-r-r as in run, put those together to make tr followed by ea and finishing with t-t-t. Put it al together to say treat, “The teacher gave us a treat for behaving well this week.”

d.     Now that you have seen how we use the letters and place them in the letterboxes, you are going to have a chance to do this too. The first word I want you to try is sneak, “I had to sneak a cookie because I didn’t eat my dinner.” How many phonemes are in sneak? Yes it is 4. So how many boxes do you need? (need 4) I am going to walk around and make sure you have done it right, if I give you a thumbs up you can go on to the next word dream. “I had a dream I was a superhero!“ They are going to spell the remaining words the same way  treat, green, greek, least, scream, sweet.  I will provide sentences to go along with each word. After they have made each of these words we will go back and read them. I will call on individuals to read one of the word.

e.      You are all becoming REAL great readers. You are learning how to spell and read words with ee/ea to make /E/ sound. We are now going to read a book called The Mean Geese,  do you hear long E somewhere in the title? (Yes it is in Mean and Geese) What do we think this story is going to be about? Well, there are some mean geese and those geese, first they scare Scat's kittens, now they're after Lad.  Look out Ben.  I think they're after you, too. Guess we will have to read to see what happens and who they go after next! We are going to get into groups of two and you will take turns reading with your partner. If you ever get stuck on a word help each other and use your cover up critter to sound out the word. If you get totally stumped raise your hand and I will help you  



D.   Assessment:

a.     The last thing we do before we conclude our lesson is to do a worksheet to see just how much you learned today. I want you to read the two columns of words and circle the words with the long E sounds. Many of the words have e’s in them but you want to only circle those Eek, eel words. Read all the words in the boxes and then go back and circle which ones make that long E sound.

E.   Resources:

a.     Murray, G (2004) The Mean Geese. The Reading Genie:

b.     Geralyn Murray, Oh, I didn’t Know!


d.     Assessment Worksheet:

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