Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Sneaky E

This past school year, I have been working in my kid's tiny school, helping out teaching various things.  One day, a few months ago, I was working with the kids on labeling various classroom items and this required sounding out the words.  Every time, the silent e on the end of a word caught them up, so I realized they needed a bit of an explanation on what the silent e does.  After a moment of thought (and completely on the fly...) I realized that I could make this concept interesting by describing the silent e as being a little bit sneaky.  Kids love when things are sneaky!  So I explained that on the end of some words, there's a "sneaky e" and it pokes the vowel and makes it say it's name.  So, it pokes an O and make's it say "OH!" or maybe it pokes an A and makes it say "AY!"  The kids thought this was pretty funny and thus went about focusing on finding the "sneaky e's" and discovering what letter it could be poking!.

The concept has really stuck with my almost-5-yr-old year old son.  He LOVES those sneaky e's!  It's been months and he still talks about the sneaky e and laughs about how they poke the other letters.  Earlier this week, he was practicing some of his sight words and we realized that the sneaky e on the end of the word "have" was not doing it's job.  This was hilariously funny to my son.  He looked at me very seriously and said "I have an idea.  We could write the words and then draw an arrow going from the sneaky e to where it pokes the other letter!"  I got him some paper and this is what he did:

The most interesting thing to me, though, is that he is normally pretty averse to doing any fine motor development, but was willing to write this.

1 comment:

tunterre said...

in the Montessori world, we call it the silent E but that has always bothered me, as it implies a lack of activity... Love the "sneaky" idea and the "poking" image!