That's right! "E" is not for elephant!
If you say it reeeeaaaal slow you may be able to hear the /e/ sound, but for little learners, it sounds more like the name of the letter "L". How confusing!
Did you know that there are 26 letters in the English alphabet, but there are approximately 44 sounds?
Another word for letter sounds is phonemes. (pronounced fow-neemz) A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a language. One of the first things children learn in school is that letters represent sound. This is called phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is important because it gives readers an approach to sounding out unknown words.
The main theme of "What's That Sound?" is to create phonemic awareness! Often the important fact that letters have names and letters represent sound is not grasped by little learners! Imagine having to learn the names of 26 letters! The letters have an upper case form and a lower case form. Some of those forms are similar, some are different. Wow! That means there are 52 characters to be able to identify by name.....and then, we add the fact that they represent a sound or in some instances several different sounds! No wonder those little ones come home from school tired!
"What's That Sound?" is designed for kindergarteners to first practice with an adult and then practice on their own. The letters can be traced with little fingers. There are places in the book for practice moving from left to right across the page. The idea that a specific sound can be located in the beginning, middle, and/or end of a word is explained visually. The idea that the vowels have two sounds is introduced.
In the book "What's That Sound?"
The silhouette for the short /e/ sound is depicted as an elephant. It is very important to let a child know that the elephant's name is "Ed"!
Most alphabet books have words under the illustrations. I did not want to do that! I made a decision to leave excess type out of the book for little readers to focus on the form of the letter and the sound it represents. Although an elephant is a wonderful picture, Ed is a much better way to teach the short e sound! Please use "Ed" the elephant!