Eh? What did you say? I can't hear you.

Katie Bolander- Begining Reading


Rationale:  This lesson teaches students about the short vowel correspondence e=/e/. Children must learn all of the short vowels in order to begin reading and decoding. This lesson will teach students how to recognize, spell and read words that contain the phoneme e=/e/. They will learn the meaningful representation of a person that is hard of hearing and asks: “eh?  What did you say? I can't hear you.” They will have a letterbox lesson to spell words and read a decodable book that focuses on e=/e/.



2 Letter boxes (optional for easy use) enough for a small group of 5

6 Letter boxes: enough for a small group of five

Letter Tiles: enough for a small group of five (in bags of e, d, b, t, s, h, c, r, a , n, l, p, m, g)

Word list: Ed, bet, shed, crab, bent, help, spend, stamp, strength

Display poster with: trend

Decodable Book: Red Gets Fed: 5 books

Poster of an old man (picture above)

Assessment Worksheet



1. Say: Before you can read and write, you have to be able to understand the code alphabetic code, or the tricks we use to remember the sounds of the alphabet. Last week we learned about the short a sound, a=/a/. This week we are going to learn about the short e sound, e=/e/.

*Show the children the poster of the old man* Can everyone say: Eh?...Eh? What did you say?... Eh? I can't hear you. Put your hand to your ear and say /e/. Everyone turn to your partner and say eh?


2.Say:  Before we learn how to spell words with /e/ we need to learn how to find that sound in a word. Look at my mouth as I say /e/,(put your hands at the sides of your mouth to show how it moves) my mouth spreads and my tongue sits at the bottom of my mouth. You try. Now listen to my try to find /e/ in a word: (with my hands by my mouth) b-e-d. I felt my mouth and hands spread when I said b-e-d. Now I am going to try sofa: s-o-fa. I did not feel my hands or mouth move on sofa, so there is not an /e/ in sofa. Now you try, if you hear an /e/ put your hand up to your ear, eh? Words: cat, pet, west, east, run, slept

3. Say: Now, I am going to show you how we would spell a word with an /e/ sound in it. (The teacher would show this to the small group on sample letter boxes) I have four letter boxes which means that I have four sounds in my word. My word is smell. I am going to break the word into the sounds that I hear s-m-e-ll. I hear /e/ in the third sound so I am going to put an e there. I hear that the word starts with a /s/ sound so I am going to put a s there (explain that c can also make that sound but not in this word, if a student asks). I also hear mmm as the second sound so I am going to put a m in the second box. So right now I have s-m-e but I need a /l/ sound. This word actually has two lls that make the /l/ sound so both of these lls go in the same box.


4. Now you are going to try spelling the words on your own. Everyone get out your two letter boxes. The first word is Ed. This is someone's name. You might say “Ed can you drive me to the store?” *The teacher should be looking at all of the students in the small group to make sure that they are spelling the word correctly, the teacher should scaffold a student if they are having trouble* The next word requires 3 letter boxes so everyone needs to take out their 6 boxes and fold it into three. The word is bet. I bet that I can run faster than you. *The same procedure (call out, sentence and checking) will be made for each of the following words: (3) shed [I keep my tools in a shed.], (4) crab [I love to eat crab on the beach.] , bent [I bent my bike when I had a wreck], help [I need help cleaning this mess.] (5) spend [I spend too much money when I go to the mall.] , stamp [I need a stamp for my letter.] (6) strength [ I have no strength after running.]


5. Say: Now that we have spelled each of the words I want you to read each of the words aloud. I want everyone to turn to their partner and read the words on the list. I will be listening to each of you reading the words and helping you sound them out if you need to. Remember to use your cover up critter to help you sound out the words if you are having a hard time. Now I'll show you how to read a tough word. (Display poster with the word trend) I am going start with the e that says eh. Now I'm going to put the beginning letters with it, t-r-e /tre/. Now I'm going to add the /n/ sound /tren/. Last I am going to add the /d/ sound: trend.


6. Say: Now we are going to all read the book Red Gets Fed together. Red is a dog. He is very hungry when he wakes up in the morning. What will he do for food? Who will he disturb to get food? We will all read this book together quietly. I want to hear everyone's voices as we are reading (this is called choral reading). I will be making small notes as we are reading and may ask the whole group to repeat a sentence for practice.


7. Say: I am very proud of everyone's reading. I am glad that nothing bad happened to Red the dog. Now, before we are done with our lesson I would like everyone to complete this worksheet. Remember the sound that we have been working on this entire time. Eh? What did you say? Eh? I can't hear you. On this worksheet you have to color in the boxes that have words with /e/ in it.



“eh” picture- 




Hayes Adams Eh? What's that you say?-













Go back to Epiphanies website