Say "Cheese!"

ee = /E/

Beginning Reading Design by Sara Vaughan




Rationale: The relationship between graphemes and phonemes, and the correspondence between letters and sounds are very important for students to understand to make steps towards becoming a fluent reader.  This lesson will teach children to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling EE. Students will learn a meaningful representation (Smiling and saying “Cheese!”), students will spell and read words containing this spelling through a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee = /E/.


Materials: A graphic image of a little mouse with a camera saying “Say Cheese!”, tongue tickler, Elkonin letterboxes, letter manipulatives for the Elkonin boxes: b, e, e, g, h, j, k, n, p, r,  s, w ; cover up critter, flash cards of the spelling words, decodable text “The Mean Geese” from the Reading Genie and the assessment worksheet.



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with o=/o/, like flop, and today we are going to learn about what a word would sound like if we add another e to the one we already have. When we put two e’s together it sounds like /E/. When I say /E/ I think of someone taking my picture and saying “say cheese!” Just like this mouse [show graphic image]. Now let’s look at the spelling of /E/ that we’ll learn today. We spell /E/ with two letter e’s right next to each other.

2. Say: Now we are going to look at a tongue tickler.  I am going to read the tongue tickler out loud first, when you hear the /E/ sound make a big smile like you’re having your picture taken- think “Say cheese!” Here is our tongue tickler: “Sheep sleep in a jeep.”  Isn’t that a funny sentence? Let’s read our funny sentence together! But before we read it together, remember what to do when we hear the /E/ sound!

3. Say: Let’s see if we can hear the /E/ sound in some words. When we say the sound /E/ our mouth makes the same shape as when we smile and say “cheese.” Can you feel your mouth when you smile and say “cheese!”? Now watch my mouth and listen closely to see if you can hear which words say /E/. Do you hear /E/ in see or hear? Blue or green? Sheep or cow? Sour or sweet? Nose or teeth?


4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for see. Remember that we already know how to spell the /E/ sound, with two es, so make sure to put the two e’s in the same box.  I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word: week like in the sentence “President’s day was last week. [Allow children to spell remaining words, giving sentences for each word: bee, need, jeep, green, sheep.]


5. After we have finished spelling the words in the letterboxes we will practice reading all of our words. I will hold up flash cards for the students to read from. We will read the words together as a class first and then go back through the words and each child will get a turn to read one out loud.


6. Say: Great job reading our spelling words for the sound /E/! Now we are going to read a book called The Mean Geese. This book is about geese, a cat named Scat and a dog named Lad. What do you think will happen when they all run into each other at the creek? Let’s find out!


7. Say: I am so happy about how you have learned to say and read the /E/ sound! We are going to work on a fun worksheet. See if you can find the words in this word search with “ee” in it! When you think you find one, sound it out to see if it says /E/!


Constructing Beginning Reading Lesson Design, Murray “Oh, I didn’t know!”


Assessment sheet (EE Search Easy):


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