Silent E Springing Up
Students will be able to recognize, read, spell, and write one-syllable words with long vowels and short vowels. Students will learn how to locate information using reference resources and apply their knowledge to their writing.
Introduction (5 minutes)
- Group your students at their work stations before starting the lesson. This will cut down on distractions when transitioning to the execution of the activity.
- Begin the lesson by activating your students' prior knowledge about CVC words. Ask a volunteer to tell you what a CVC word is. Example answer: A CVC word is a three letter word that has two consonants sandwiching a vowel.
- Once a student answers, ask the class whether most CVC words have a short vowel sound or a long vowel sound.
- After students come to the conclusion that CVC words have short vowel sounds, explain that today the class will be learning how to recognize, read, and write words with long vowel sounds.
- Introduce your class to the concept of silent e, which changes a short vowel CVC word into a long vowel word by making the vowel say its name.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)
- Choose an example of a CVC word that will be familiar to your students, as well as follow the silent e rule. Write the word on the board. For example: tub, cap, pin.
- Encourage the class to sound out the CVC word with you, and then say the whole word together.
- Use the CVC word in a sentence. For example: The tub is full of water.
- Write the CVC word with an "e" at the end under the original word on the board. Use a different color marker to help illustrate how the silent e changes the word.
- Tell the class to listen as you sound out the new word, pointing to each letter as you make the sound. Point to the e, but stay silent as you do. For example: /t/ /U/ /b/. Tube.
- Ask if anyone can tell you what is different about this word. You are looking for someone to mention the long vowel sound, and that nothing was said when you pointed to the e.
- Use the new word in a sentence. For example: I have a tube of toothpaste.
- Explain that now you have two words you can recognize, read, and write with: tub and tube.
- Tell the class that they will be using both of these kinds of words while doing an art project.
Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (40 minutes)
- Divide the class up into pairs.
- Give each student a copy of the Just Add E worksheet. This will act as a word list.
- Start each pair on partner practice: one student is responsible for reading the short vowel words from the worksheet aloud, and the other the long vowel words.
- As you listen to the students read aloud, certain words may be difficult to pronounce or define.
- Help each pair of students identify three difficult or unfamiliar words to work on.
- Pass out the paper folded into thirds.
- Direct students to cut along the folded lines, so that they're left with three separate pieces of paper. Have them fold each piece of paper in half lengthwise.
- Using a dictionary or other reference tool, students will create word tents.
- Tell each student to write a tricky word and the definition on one side of their word tent, and write the word in a sentence on the other side of the tent. Students that have difficulty producing complete sentences may be allowed to copy a sentence from the dictionary or reference tool, and write their own sentence later.
- Pass out construction paper, glue, scissors, teardrop-shaped petal pattern, felt, and pipe cleaners to each activity station.
- On a piece of construction paper, have kids draw a circle that will be the center of the flower. Have them write an "e" inside of this circle.
- Direct students to use the pipe cleaners and felt to create a stem and leaves for their flower.
- Using the petal pattern, have students create 6-10 petals for their flower.
- On each petal, students should write a CVC word that can be changed by adding a silent "e" on the end of it. For example: pin, cut, can, mop.
- Ask students to glue their word petals around the "e" in the center of their flower.
Independent Working Time (30 minutes)
- Students will now put these new words to use in writing. Depending on their writing skill level, students can:
- Write a poem with new silent e words
- Write a short story using new silent e words
- If they were unable to write their own sentences with the word tents, they can pick more familiar words from the list and write sentences with these.
- After students have had time to write, have them pair and share with a new partner.
- Have students give each other constructive criticism as well as compliments on their piece.
- Students will begin to edit their writing. This will give the teacher time to visit different tables to make comments and suggestions on improvements, before a final draft is made.
- Students may "publish" their final draft by framing it on a piece of colored construction paper with their CVC flower, type their writing on a computer, or both. For those who wrote poems or short stories, they may also utilize a site that allows publishing of their writings.
- Enrichment: Students who are more skilled in writing may be given more responsibility in the type of flower project completed, and in the writing assignment given. Though it is critical for students to be paired with other students who are working on various levels, more careful thought to the content of the writing and writing styles may be the most important factor when deciding on how to pair students. A less skilled student may actually be more creative in their thinking, and even more adventurous in their independent work tasks. Pairing this student with a child that has a better grasp on grammar and writing mechanics may actually be the most beneficial for both students.
- Support: Students who are less skilled in writing may be given less responsibility in the type of flower project completed, and in the writing assignment given. Writing can also be a socially rewarding time, in that it allows us to gather our thoughts and organize them the way we want, before we present them to someone else. Sometimes, students need this structured environment to feel secure as they learn social skills in speaking.
Related Books and/or Media
Assessment (5 minutes)
- Move throughout the room observing students' writing, listening as they share their words and ideas with table groups or individual conferences as they edit their writings.
- Depending on the level of mastery for each student, you will be looking for oral reading fluency during word list reading and sharing of writing, ability to utilize reference materials, spelling of the new words in their writing, and overall accuracy in their use of these words in their writing.
- Possible rubric criteria includes content of writing, grammar, writing mechanics, utilization of reference materials, oral reading fluency, working with others, and neatness of word tent and flower projects.
Review and Closing (5 minutes)
- Ask for volunteers to give an example of a word they were unfamiliar with before this lesson. See if each student can use that word in a sentence now.
- Pick 5 pairs of the CVC-silent e word pairs and write these on the board. Have students read together as a whole group, and then call on individuals to read randomly selected words.