Beginning Reading Lesson

Eeeeek! That’s scary!”

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

Katy Moore

Title: “Eeeeek! That’s scary!”

Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence ee = /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. They will learn a meaningful representation, they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence ee = /E/.

Materials: Graphic image of scared man; cover-up critter; White board or Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic letters for teacher: e, w, k, l, o, p, s, t; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: feet, meet, keep, sleep, peel, see, feel, sweets; decodable text: Lee and the Team, 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 ten, and today we are going to learn about long E and the double e signal that is used to make E say its name, /E/. When I say /E/ I think of a scared little confused man screaming “Eeeeeek!” [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 make a face like I’m scared. [Make vocal gesture for /E/.] I’ll show you first: home. I heard e say its name and I felt my lips go back like I’m scared [make a scared face]. There is a long E in see. Now I’m going to see if it’s in set. Hmm, I didn’t hear e say its name and my face didn’t look like it was scared. Now you try. If you hear /E/ say, “Eeeeek!” If you don’t hear /O/ say, “There’s no E.” Is it in let, pain, pants, knee, teen, lids? [Have children make a scared face when they hear /E/ say its name.] Eeeek!


3. Teacher says: Now let’s look at the spelling of /E/ that we’ll learn today. One way to spell /E/ is with the letters ee. [Write ee on the board.]. What if I want to spell the word feel? “I feel so happy to be teaching you today.” Feel is the emotion that I have. To spell feel in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /f//ee//l/. I need 3 boxes. I heard that /E/ just before the /l/ so I’m going to put a ee in the second box. The word starts with /f/, that’s easy; I need an f. Now it gets a little tricky so I’m going to say it slowly, /f//ee/l/. I think I heard /l/ at the end so I’ll put an l in the third letter box.

4. Teacher says: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You’ll start out easy with two boxes for see. To see something means to look at it, “I can see that you are paying attention.” What letter 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/. Here’s the word: keep, I want to keep learning; keep. *Allow children to spell words and then check their work. Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: k–e –e –p  and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: feet; I wear shoes on my feet. *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: pet; I would like to pet the dog. Did you hear /E/ in that? Why not? Because it didn’t have two e’s isn’t it? *Have volunteer spells it on the board. Now let’s try 4 phonemes: sleep; When it’s my bedtime, I go to sleep. One more then we’re done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: sweets; On Halloween, I hope to get lots of sweets. Remember to stretch it out to get this tough word.

5. Teacher says: 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 feel on the top and model reading the word. First I see there’s an eeking ee in the middle of the word; that’s my signal that the vowel will say its name. There’s the vowel ee. 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. f=/f/. Now I’m going to blend that with /ee/ = /fee/. Now all I need is the end, /l/ = /feel/. Feel; 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. Teacher says: You’ve done a wonderful job in reading words with our new spelling for /E/: ee. Now we are going to read a book called Lee and the Team. This is a story of a boy named Lee who has a baseball game in few minutes, but none of his teammates get up to play. Then a bee comes along and scares the whole team! Let’s pair up and take turns reading Lee and the Team to find out what happens when the bee scares the team. *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 Jakes Joke aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.

7. Teacher says: That was a fun story. What did the team do when the bee came? Right, he got them up to play their game! Who was the one that got them up? Right, the bee. Before we finish up with our lesson about one way to spell /E/ = ee, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to look in the box of word choices, and decide which ee word fits best to make sense of this very short story. First try reading all the words in the box, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. *Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.



-Lee and the Team by Sheila Cushman and Rona Kornblum











    Name: ______________

Directions: Fill in the blanks to the story.

Lee saw a ____.

Lee and his team got sacred by the _____. The bee got _____ and his team to wake up and go to the game.

Directions: Which picture has a long E in it?

    Feet         Pen          Can

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