Icky Sticky Pig

By: DeDe Carroll


Rationale: In order for students to be successful readers, they must understand the relationship between letters and sounds (graphemes and phonemes). This lesson will focus on the i= /i/ (short i) phoneme. The students will gain knowledge about short i by learning our silly saying with the picture of the pig, listening for short i sounds in spoken language, and reading a decodable book.


·         (1) Picture of icky sticky pig (as seen above)

·         (1) White Board

·         (1) Expo marker

·         (~11) Copies of book for each pair of students: Tin Man Fix It

·         (~22) Assessment worksheets

·         Letter box tiles and letterbox paper strip

·         Poster with words written on it: IF, DIG, FIT, STILL, RAN, FED




1. “How many of you have ever seen or touched something that is icky?” Let a few children give answers. “We’ve been talking about some other short vowels like /a/ in apple and /e/ in bed. Well, today we need to talk about /i/. When I say /i/ I think about icky. Do you all hear the /i/ sound in that word? Let’s look at our silly picture that is up on the board. It says Icky Sticky Pig. Lets say it together.” Repeat the saying twice as a class. “Lets say it one more time, but this time, when you hear the short i sound push your nose up like a pigs nose.” Show them what you mean by pushing your nose up. Repeat the saying with noses.


2. “Before we move on, we need to be good listeners and be able to hear the short i in different words. Short i is used in a bunch of different words that we hear everyday. What are some words that have short i in them?” Let students brainstorm and share some words. “I liked how you guys thought hard about that. Here are some examples I came up with: gig, six, jig, sick, disk. Let’s play a short game. When I say a word, I want you to listen really carefully and see if you hear the short i sound in the word. If you hear it, make a pig nose. But only put up a pig nose if you hear the word.” Words: click, stiff, kit, pat, splat, mitt.


3. “Let’s look at an example.” Write the word mint on the board. “If I came across this word while reading a book, and I didn’t know how to say it, I can use my skills to decode it. I would first say what I know. We know that M says mmmm. We also know that N says nnnn and T says tttt. When we see the i we need to think about our silly picture. Icky sticky pig, i says iiiiii. We should then blend all our sounds together. MMiinnnttt. Mint.” Use the white board to draw explainations (such as underlining letters, etc.)


4. “Let’s practice with a different silly saying!” Write on board: Vicky is sick with an icky illness. “Let’s say our silly saying together. When we hear a short i  lets make our pig noses.” Say it in exaggerated form, Viiiiiiiicky is siiiiiick….etc. The first time through I will say it with them and then I will let them say it by themselves as I watch to make sure they understand.


5. Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. Everyone pull out your letterbox papers and place them on your desk. I will walk around and give you each the tiles you will need. I want you to listen and watch me show you an example. We’ll start out easy with two boxes for if. “If I clean my room, I will get an ice cream cone”. What should go in the first box? I think the short /i/ should go there because I can hear it when I sound it out, iiiiii-f. What goes in the second box? I know that F goes in the next box because I hear, ffffffff. Okay, now it’s your turn. You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /i/. Here’s the word: dig, my dog will dig and dig to hide his bone. [Allow children to spell words.] Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: d-i-g and see if you’ve spelled it the same way. Try another with three boxes: fit; I cannot fit into my pants because I ate too much. [Have volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word.] Next word. Listen to see if this word has /i/ in it before you spell it: chin. My chin got scratched when I fell off my bike.[volunteer spells it on the front board.] What about: still; I had to be very still when my mom put the band-aid on my chin. Now we are going to read the words we just spelled. (pull out the poster with the words written on it. Go through the words as a class, slowly and efficiently). Do the same thing as above for the review words: RAN and FED.


6. “Since we have done so well in identifying out short i sound, we are now going to read a book. The book is called “Tin Man Fix It”. This is about a man named Tim. Tim is made out of tin. His friend is Jim, and he fixes things. One day a kid hits Tim, and Tim breaks! Can Jim fix him? You’ll have to read to see if Jim can fix Tim. I want you to turn to your neighbor and read this book together. Each person is going to read it one time. When you are listening to your partner, I want you to make your pig nose every time you hear our vowel sound.” As you pass out books, designate one person to start reading. Make sure it is the stronger reader so the lower reader can have another example of modeling before it is their turn.


7. To assess individual learning, I will hand out a worksheet. On the worksheet there will be different pictures. The child is to circle the picture that has the short i sound.



Kristin Neely, Icky Sticky Inchworm- http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/explor/neelyel.html

Phonics Reader Short Vowel “Tin Man Fix-It”. (1990) Carson, CA (USA), St Albans, Herts. (UK): Educational Insights

Phonics Reader Short Vowel “Liz is Six”. (1990) Carson, CA (USA), St Albans, Herts. (UK): Educational Insights


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