Icky, Icky, Ick

Anne Larkin Oaks

Emergent Literacy


Rationale: For students to learn words, they need to learn that each letter that makes up a word has a sound and that when those sounds are put together may words can be spelled.  Short vowels are often harder to the students to see and say their sound.  This lesson will help students to identify /i/ (short i).  They will learn this sound by looking at it in words, reciting it to the teacher, and by learning a meaningful representation and letter symbol.


Materials: pencil, primary paper, picture of women with sticky stuff on her hands, the book from Educational Sights Liz is Six, letters i, n, s, t, p, b, r, c, k, g, f, l, m, d, chalkboard, chart paper, notecards



*Today we are going to be learning what the letter "i'  says. It makes the i =/i/ sound. Let's say it together. Can you think of any words that have that sound in it? (Brainstorm with the student) Our whole lesson today will be about that sound.

*Show students the picture of the woman with glue on her hands. Tell students that if you had glue on your hands it would be 'icky.' What sound might you ask if you had sticky stuff all over your hands? You might say ick. Ick is the sound that i = /i/ makes. So whenever you see the letter 'i' in a word, you can think of the sticky glue on your hands. That will help you remember the sound it makes.

*  Now can you all tell me how our mouth is when we say the /i/ sound?  Well our mouth kind moves apart and our tongue goes down to the bottom of our mouth.  Try the sound with me. 

*Now let's try saying this phrase that has a lot of the 'i' sound. "Izzie is ill in the igloo." Now let's say it this time and every time you hear that i = /i/ sound we will over exaggerate it and stretch it out. "Iiiiizzie iiiis iiiill iiiin the iiiigloo."

*Now students I would like for you to get out your paper and a pencil.  We can use the letter i to spell /i/.  Let's write it.  Start at the bottom of the line and go up to the dotted line.  Then go in between the dotted line and the top line and place a small dot.  This is what an i looks like.  Now everybody draw an i and I will come around an check it.  As soon as I have checked it try to write eight more.  So when you see the letter i in a word you know it makes the sound /i/.

*Now let's find that i = /i/ sound in some words. Do you hear that sound in gift or take? Pop or pick? Lip or mouth? Hip or shoe? Can you think of any other words?

*Next we will use the letter boxes and letters. I will model how to spell scrit. Then the students will spell words such as pit, mit, did, gift, and brick. After I have modeled and the students have spelled the words, then I will have the students read the words. The words will be on notecards.

*Now we are going to spell some words. Have student build words using letter tiles.  (Call on different students to help sound out the words with the sound /i/.  (words that will be used are in, sit, tin, pit, brick, clip, slim, and drink)

*The book we will be reading today is Liz is Six. Today is Liz's birthday and it looks like she is going to get a gift. What do you think the gift will be? Well, we are going to have to read to find out.

*Next I will have the students read the book. They will buddy read with a buddy. I will ask students to make 'icky fingers pose' every time they hear the short i sound.

*After we have read the book, I will have students to think about what they want for their birthday. I will have them illustrate what they want.

*To assess the students,  I will ask each student to tell me what word they hear the i =/i/ in the two words I give them.



Cuhman, Sheila. Liz is Six. Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.
Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to Read. IL: The Reading Research and Education Center, 1990


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