Long E Leaves

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Students will be able to associate the long sound made by the vowel e.

Big Idea

Naming and labeling images helps students practice recognizing the long e vowel sound.


10 minutes

Gather students on the rug using a preferred classroom management technique. I like to use my “Stop, look, listen.” The students stop what they are doing, look at me and listen for the direction. I usually preface the direction with, “When I say go…” This reminds the students to listen to the whole direction before moving to follow the directive.

In this case I would say, “When I say go I would like you to clear your space, push in your chair and go take a spot on your dot. Walking feet go.” By saying walking feet I am reminding the students to use walking feet in the classroom to ensure safe movement between areas.

When all of the students are seated on their dot in the rug area I tell them we are going to watch a short video clip about one of our vowels.

“Can anyone tell me the five vowels of the alphabet?”

Most of the students are able to respond to the question with a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y.

“Great work team. The vowel we are going to watch the video about features in the title of our story in the focus lesson of the day. Watch closely and see if you can tell me which vowel it is.”

“Well does anyone know which vowel we are going to work on today?”

“E is right. Make sure you listen carefully to the story so you are ready to answer the vowel question I ask when the story is over.”

I use the video to get my students thinking about the long e sound through listening to it being used in a variety of words. This will help the students recognize the sound as they listen to the story. 


40 minutes

“The book for today is called Leaves! Leaves! Leaves! Written and illustrated by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. Looking at the cover what do we notice?”

“You are so right…I see children jumping in leaves again! My goodness the authors and illustrators of fall themed books certainly like to use children jumping in leaves as a recurring theme. There is something I notice about these children though; can anyone tell me what it is?”

“That’s right Alice these are not real children they are bears. What does that tell us about the type of book this might be?”

“I agree with you Ryan the book is most likely going to be make-believe, and what is the special word we use for books that are make-believe?”

“Fiction is just the word I was looking for Owen. Well I am going to tell you that even though this book is fiction it does have some factual information in it. Listen closely to the story and see if you can hear some facts that we already know.”


While reading the book we discuss any words the students may have questions about. Words like, scales, jagged, connected, etc. We review some of the words from past lessons like, nutrients, chlorophyll, buds, carbon dioxide, chemicals, etc. the reason we discuss unknown words is to help students increase their comprehension skills. If a students does not know the meaning of a word, then their understanding of the sentence is not as clear as it could be. For example, if the reader does not know the meaning of the word "nutrients," then the sentence, "The leaves take in nutrients for the plant," is not as clear as if I know that nutrients is another word for food.  


After reading the story I ask the students, “Which vowel sound do you hear in the word leaf?”

“That’s right Adam I hear the e sound too. The letter a in the word leaf helps the vowel e say its name giving it the long sound e. Can everyone hear it… listen closely… leeeeeaf.”

“Can anyone give me another word that has the same long e sound in it?”

I listen to two or three responses to the question before telling the students, “It is okay if you did not get a chance to tell me a word with the long e sound because that is what we are going to work on at my station at integrated work station time.”

“At my station we will write words with the long e sound in a little book and then I added two blank pages at the end so we can add our own long e sound words.”   


Once I feel the group has a good grasp of the instructions I send the students over one table group at a time to maintain a safe and orderly classroom. It usually sounds like this;

“Table number one go have some long e fun.

Table number two, you know what to do.

Table number three, hope you were listening to me, and

Table number four, you shouldn’t be here anymore.”


At my station I have a copy of the mini book for each student to which I have stapled two extra blank pages on the end. We go over the words in the book together. Once the students have completed writing the words neatly, forming the letters as they appear in the example, I have the students come up with words which have the same long e sound. I write these on the rolling chart. The students are allowed to select the two words they like the best and put these on the two blank pages at the end of their mini book.  Sample of long e vowel sound words the students came up with    Students working on long e vowel sound books   Working on the long e book


We take 15 minutes to work on this lesson. I use the visual timer to keep track of the time.

Up to this point in the year we have done a lot of work with the short vowels, but as my students reading abilities increase I need to introduce the long vowel sounds. The students need to begin to experience the long vowel sounds so that they are better able to decode unknown words in the texts we will begin using.  


10 minutes

When the time is up I blow two short blasts on my whistle and use the “Stop, look listen” technique mentioned above. “When I say go, I would like you to clean up your space remembering to take care of our things, push in your chair, and use walking feet to go and take a spot on your dot.”

Students know to put completed work in the finished work bin. Any work that is not completed goes into the under construction bin and can be completed throughout the day whenever the student finds he/she has spare time or it will be completed during free choice center time.

I tell the students that their exit slip for today is to give me a word that has the long e vowel sound in it. I let the students know that once a word has been used it is “off the menu” and no longer available for anyone else to use. I give the students a minute to think of two or three word. “I am going to give you a minute to think of two or three words that have the long e sound in them. That way if someone else uses a word you were going to use you will have a back-up word.” Long E exit ticket

I use the fair sticks to select students to give me a word. If a student does not have a long e word, he/she can do one of two things.

  1. Get a friend to help, or
  2. Wait until the end and then we will work on the word together.

Once a student has given me a long e sound word they are able to use the hand sanitizer and go to get their snack.             


10 minutes

Call each student over during a time which fits into your classroom schedule. I call my students over to work with me during free choice centers time or at integrated work station time (only if I have enough parent volunteers and I am not working a station myself).

Direct the student’s attention to the pictures on the paper. Use your own finger to show the student where to start and model how to use a tracking finger to go across the page just as if you were reading. “Starting here under the star please use a tracking finger to go across the page and tell me what each picture is – it could be a thing or an action. Once you have told me what the picture is then tell me if it has the long e sound in it. Place your finger under the first word by the star. Ready? Begin.”

Record the student’s responses on the Long e Assessment Sheet.  


Sort leaves into piles according to the type of tree they come from. I lay out leaf identification cards and have a variety of leaves for the students to sort into the piles. Next I have the students draw their favorite one in their science journal and label it using the identification chart. 

This is a site I like to use to get resources from for my para to work with students. Loving2Learn