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Leap and Say WEE!

Leap and say WEE!!!


 A Beginning Reading Lesson

By Janel Ludlam



Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ee/ea = /E/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling ee/ea. They will learn a meaningful representation (boy sliding says WEE!), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee/ea= /E/.


Materials: Graphic image of boy on slip and slide; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smart board Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smart board letters for teacher: e, c, d, k, n, o, p, r, s, t; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: tea, bee, reach, web, green, sleep, week, bean, sheet, beach, street decodable text: The Mean Geese and 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 e, like red, and today we are going to learn about long E. When I say /E/ I think of boy sliding down a slip and slide saying “WEE!” [show graphic image].

 2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /E/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /E/ in words, I hear E say its name /E/ and my lips pull up and curve into a smile like this. [Make vocal gesture for /E/.] I’ll show you first: week. I heard e say its name and I felt my lips curl up and make a smile [make lips curve up into a smile]. There is a long E in week. Now I’m going to see if it’s in vest. Hmm, I didn’t hear E say its name and my lips didn't pull up into a smile. Now you try. If you hear /E/ say, “WEE!” If you don’t hear /E/ say, “That’s not it.” Is it in jet, peach, bed, team, reach, pants? [Have children make a smile when they hear /E/ say its name.]

 3. Say: Now let’s look at the spelling of /E/ that we’ll learn today. One way to spell /E/ is with the letter ee. [Write ee on the board.] Another way to spell long e is with ea. What if I want to spell the word peach? “The peach cobbler grandma made was delicious. A peach is a type of fruit in this sentence. To spell peach in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /p//ea//ch/. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /E/ just before the /ch/ so I’m going to put an ea in the 2nd box. The word starts with /p/, that’s easy; I need a p. Now it gets a little tricky so I’m going to say it slowly, /p//ea//ch/. One more after the /E/, hmm . . . /p/ea//ch/, I think I heard choo train /ch/ so I need a Ch. [Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /p//ea//ch/.]  

 4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for tea. Tea is a type of drink you can have either hot or cold, “Our mom made us sweet tea on the hot summer day.” What should go in the first box? [Respond to children’s answers]. What goes in the second box? I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /E/ and don’t forget to put the choo choo train ch at the end. Here’s the word: reach, I had to reach on the top shelf for the cookie jar; reach. [Allow children to spell words.] Time to check your work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: r– ea – ch  and see if you've spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: bean; Jack found three beans in his garden. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.] Next word. Listen to see if this word has /E/ in it before you spell it: web; The spider made a web on the tree. Did you need a long e Why not? Right, because we don’t hear E say its name. We spell it with our short vowel e. [volunteer spells it on the front board.] Now let’s try 4 phonemes: green; The watermelon was dark green. One more then we’re done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: street; The cars were driving on the street. Remember to stretch it out to get this tough word.

 5. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you've spelled, but first I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with peach on the top and model reading the word.] First I see there’s an ea in the middle signaling long /E/; that’s my signal that the vowel will say its name. There’s the vowel e. It must say /E/. I’m going to use a cover-up to get the first part. [Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend with the vowel.] /p//ea/ = /pea/. Now I’m going to blend that with /ch/ = /peach/. Now all I need is blend it all together; peach; that’s it. Now it’s your turn, everyone together. [Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]

 6. Say: You've done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /E/: ee/ea. Now we are going to read a book called The Mean Geese. This is a story of about some animals who go to the stream and meet some geese. Let’s pair up and take turns reading The Mean Geese to find out why the geese are mean. [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads The Mean Geese aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]


7. Say: That was a fun story. How were the Geese mean? Right, the geese bit lad, who was trying to help Scat get her kittens away from the geese. Where did Lad go to get away from the geese? Right, the stream. Before we finish up with our lesson about the ways to spell /E/ = ee/ea, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some letters missing. Your job is fill in the missing letters of each word. Also there are pictures. Circle the pictures with the long e sound. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



Gerri Murray, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts: Beginning Reading Plan http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/doorways/murraybr.htm

Murray, G. (2004) The Mean Geese. Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/bookindex.html

Assessment worksheet: http://www.justmommies.com/unit_studies/ee-ea.gif

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