Magnanimous Magician | EL Education Curriculum

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Daily Learning Targets

  • Opening A: I can identify the long or short vowel sound in a one-syllable word. I can explain why the vowel makes a long or short sound. (RF.1.2)
    • I can say a three-phoneme word and segment it (break it apart) into individual phonemes (sounds) (in order).
    • I can blend three phonemes (sounds) to form a spoken word.
  • Work Time A: I can read a CVC word that is changed into a CVCe word by using a magic "e." (RF.1.2, RF.1.3)
    • I can identify the short vowel sounds for each of the five vowel letters.
    • I can listen to a single-syllable word and identify the short vowel it contains.
    • I can decode a word with a vowel in the middle and a silent "e" at the end.

Ongoing Assessment

  • Observe students during work with whiteboards.
    • Determine whether they can blend CVCe and CCVCe words using the patterns for the week.
    • Also determine whether they can spell CVCe and CCVCe words from memory.



1. Opening (3-5 minutes)

A. Vowel Sounds: Contrast Vowel Sounds of "a" Using /a/, /t/, /c/, /h/, /m/, and Magic "e"

2. Work Time (10 minutes)

A. Magnanimous Magician: CVCe Words with "i" and "o":"hid"/"hide," "rid"/"ride," "slid"/"slide," "spin"/"spine," "rob"/"robe," "cod"/"code," "hop"/"hope," "slop"/"slope"

3. Closing and Assessment (3-5 minutes)

A. Reflecting on Learning

4. Differentiated Small Group Instruction and Rotations (40 minutes)

In Advance

  • Prepare:
    • Magnanimous Magician Word List (one per student or pair)
    • CVCe anchor chart for "i" and "o" (see supporting materials)
    • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)
  • Gather materials for differentiated small group instruction (see Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher).


Key: Lesson-Specific Vocabulary (L); Text-Specific Vocabulary (T)

  • blend, decode, proficient (L)


  • Vowel House Template
  • CVCe anchor chart for "i" and "o" (see supporting materials)
  • Magnanimous Magician Word List (one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboards (or sheet protectors with white cardboard inside; one per student or pair)
  • Whiteboard markers (one per student)
  • Whiteboard erasers (or tissues, socks, etc.; one per student)
  • Articulation Gesture chart (from Lesson 61)
  • Snapshot Assessment (optional; one per student)


OpeningMeeting Students' Needs

A. Vowel Sounds: Contrast Vowel Sounds of “a” Using /ā/, /t/, /c/, /h/, /m/, and Magic “e”

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “The More We Get Together”):

“Sit down and come together, together, together. Sit down and come together, together, right now. Open up your ears now, and listen for the vowel sounds. It’s time to hear the vowel sounds we’re making right now.”

  • Begin the Vowel Sounds instructional practice:

1. Teacher says: “Today, we will review the change of the vowel sound of the letter ‘a.’ We will listen to how the vowel sound changes in two similar words and discover what makes the change we hear. Listening to the vowel sounds will help us become better readers and spellers.”

2. Teacher shows the Vowel House with the door closed displaying “tap” and asks for a volunteer to read the word.

3. Students repeat the word to hear the vowel sound: “tap.”

4. Teacher asks:

“What vowel sound do we hear in ‘tap’?” (/a/)

5. Teacher says: “Right! The vowel sound we hear is /a/.”

6. Teacher asks:

“And what do we notice about the vowel sound in ‘tap’?” (It is between two consonants; it is a vowel sandwich.)

7. Teacher says: “Yes, and I remember we learned that when the vowel sound is between two consonants, we hear the short vowel sound. I remember that you used this knowledge when you were syllable sleuths to divide two-syllable words.”

8. Teacher says: “In this Vowel House, there is a new visitor.” Teacher opens door to reveal the silent “e” behind it, changing the word to “tape.”

9. Teacher asks:

“Does anyone know who this new visitor is?” (e)

10. Teacher says: “Right! We see the letter ‘e’ is visiting the Vowel House. I wonder what this ‘e’ will do in our Vowel House. Who has an idea?” (change sound of /a/ to /ā/)

11. Teacher says: “That’s right! This letter ‘e’ is a visitor in the Vowel House, but it is a magic ‘e’ that is giving its sound so the ‘a’ can say its name. This new word is ‘tape.’”

12. Students repeat the word to hear the vowel sound: “tape.”

13. Teacher asks:

“What vowel sound do we hear in ‘tape’?” (/ā/)

14. Teacher says: “That’s right. This ‘e’ doesn’t make its own sound, but it changes the sound of /a/ to /ā/. Let’s see a few more words in the Vowel House with visiting silent ‘e.’”

15. Repeat steps 1–10 with additional words: “cap”/“cape,” “hat”/“hate,” “mat”/“mate.”

  • Use the language "vowel sound" to build knowledge for future learning when vowel teams (examples: "ea," "ie," and "ou") are introduced in multisyllabic words. Students need to understand that each syllable has one vowel sound, not simply one vowel.
  • Consider using mirrors so students can see their mouth movements to contrast the short "a" and long "a" vowel sounds.
  • Allow students to use child-friendly language to describe their observations about the vowel sound changes. Reinforce academic language (example: "closed syllable") when restating their observations for the whole group.

Work Time

Work TimeMeeting Students' Needs

A. Magnanimous Magician: CVCe Words with “i” and “o”: “hid”/“hide,” “rid”/“ride,” “slid”/“slide,” “spin”/“spine,” “rob”/“robe,” “cod”/“code,” “hop”/“hope,” “slop”/“slope”

  • (Suggested transition song, sung to the tune of “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”):

“We’ve been workin’ on vowel sounds, sound by sound by sound. We’ve been workin’ on vowels sounds, and we can read many words aloud. Listen for each vowel sound to break words into parts. Listen for each vowel sound, and now it’s time to start!”

  • Begin the Magnanimous Magician instructional practice:

1. Teacher says the word aloud: “hid.”

2. Students echo the word aloud: “hid.”

3. Teacher asks:

“How many vowel sounds do you hear in ‘hid’?” (one)

4. Teacher says: “That’s right! There is one short vowel sound in the word ‘hid.’ It is a closed-syllable word.”

5. Teacher writes the word on the board: “hid.”

6. Teacher writes the word on the board: “hide.” Teacher says the word aloud: “hide.”

7. Teacher asks:

“What is different about the words ‘hid’ and ‘hide’?” (“Hide” has an “e” at the end. The vowel sound in “hid” is a short “i.” The vowel sound in “hide” is a long “i” (vowel says its name).)

8. Teacher says: “That’s right! ‘Hide’ has a magic ‘e’ at the end of it. It has magical powers. It can change the sound of middle vowels by waving a magic wand and giving its voice to the middle vowel in words. It no longer has to stay a short sound; it is free to say its name.”

9. Teacher repeats the word.

10. Teacher asks:

“What vowel sound do you hear?” (/ī/. The “i” is saying its name. The “e” is silent because it has given away its voice to the “i.”)

11. Teacher puts a horizontal line (macron) above the letter “i” to indicate a long vowel sound.

12. Teacher adds the word to the “i” section of the CVCe anchor chart. Teacher says: “You are going to act as magicians to find the magic ‘e’ in words today. A magnanimous magician is a generous magician because it helps the magic ‘e’ give its voice to the middle vowel. Your job is to read magic ‘e’ words, remembering the ‘e’ is silent because it gave its voice to the middle vowel.”

13. Teacher distributes materials (Magnanimous Magician Word List (six words max), whiteboards, whiteboard markers, and whiteboard erasers).

14. Teacher guides students in their analysis of words. Students continue with steps above to read words with the magic “e.”

15. Teacher guides students in their analysis of words:

      • Students look at the word and locate the vowel(s).
      • Students circle or put a dot under the vowel(s).
      • Students determine whether there is a magic “e” at the end of the word or if it is closed by a consonant.
      • If there is a magic “e” at the end of the word, students draw a bracket or arrow from below the “e” back to the vowel before it to indicate that the “e” is giving its voice to the other vowel and put a macron (horizontal line) above the vowel.
  • Consider extending this activity to include more words from the previous cycle and more complex consonant blends. Examples:
    • "mat"/"mate," "tap"/"tape," etc.
    • "strip"/"stripe," "plat"/"plate," etc.
  • Remind students that, so far, they have learned words with short vowels in the middle. These vowels always follow the rule that vowels have a short sound ("a,""alligator," /a/, etc.) when they are closed in with a consonant.

Closing & Assessments

ClosingMeeting Students' Needs

A. Reflecting on Learning

  • Emphasize that successful learners keep track of and reflect on their own learning. Point out that they are doing this each time they consider how what they did today helps them become more proficient readers.
  • Invite students to reflect and share with a partner (or whole group). Ask:

"What did you do today that is helping you become a more proficient reader?" (Responses will vary. Example: "I found the magic 'e' to tell me the vowel sound in a word.")

  • For students who need additional support organizing their ideas: Provide sentence frames. Examples:
    • "When I saw the magic 'e,' I _____."
    • "When I listened for the vowel sound, I _____."
    • "When I blended the sounds _____, I _____."

Differentiated Small Groups: Work with Teacher

Suggested Plan: Teacher works with the Pre-Alphabetic and Partial Alphabetic groups. Teacher might meet briefly with the Full and Consolidated groups to provide a weekly Word List and exit ticket, or possibly set up a management system allowing these students to find the list and exit ticket and begin work independently.

Note: Groups not working with the teacher at a given time should be engaged in purposeful independent rotation work. Refer to the Independent and Small Group Work Guidance document (see K-2 Skills Resource Manual).


  • Aim small group instruction at building students' knowledge and skills of letter identification and phonological awareness.
  • Use the Assessment Conversion chart to determine appropriate Kindergarten lessons and Activity Bank ideas to use in daily small group instruction.
  • Consider saying pairs of words with short and long vowel sounds (example: "pin" and "pine"). Ask students to identify the vowel sounds in each word. Write both words for students to see and discuss what might be making the change in the sound.

Partial Alphabetic:

  • Consider identifying an appropriate earlier cycle that students in the early to middle Partial Alphabetic (PA) phase may need continued work with. This can be done using the Assessment Conversion chart.
  • For students in the late PA phase, consider continuing Chaining work with single-syllable CVCe words or continuing the word analysis from Work Time A from today's whole group lesson.
  • Related Activity Bank suggestions:
    • Any Activity Bank activity from the Vowels category (V)

Full and Consolidated Alphabetic:

  • Establish weekly Word Lists and exit tickets for independent work time.
  • Additional Supporting Materials:
    • Word List Guidance (for teacher reference)
    • Word Lists (one per student or pair)
    • Word Card Template (one per student or pair)
    • Sorting Words Template (one per student or pair)

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