Icky Sticky I


Emergent Literacy

Lauren Odell


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /i/, the phoneme represented by I. Students will learn to recognize /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (icky sticky) and the letter symbol I, practice finding /i/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /i/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil, chart with "The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo", set of bingo cards and cover up objects, book Liz is Six.


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for -- the mouth moves we make as we say a word. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /i/. We spell /i/ with the letter I.  The letter I is at the beginning of the word Icky and we can remember this by putting the letter I between our hands as if there is something sticky on them.

2. Let's pretend there is something sticky between our hands. (pantomime pulling hands apart) Notice where you mouth is when you make the /i/ sound. When we say /i/ our mouth is open and our tongue is a little out.

3. Let me show you how to find /i/ in the word sit. I'm going to stretch sit out in super slow motion and listen for that Icky Sticky I. ss-i-i-it. Slower: sss-i-i-i-t-t. There it was! I felt my mouth open and my tongue lowered a little

4. Let's try a tongue twister (on chart). "The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo" Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /i/ at the beginning of the words. The iiimportant iiindian was iiiill with iiiinjuries iiinside the iiigloo. Try it again and this time break it off the word: "The /i/mportant /i/ndian was /i/ll with /i/njuries /i/nside the /i/gloo"

5. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil). We use letter I to spell /i/. Capital I looks like it has two handles on the top and bottom. Let's write the lower case letter i. Start at the top of the fence and draw a straight line down to the sidewalk and then put a little dot right above the fence in the air. I want to see everybody's i. After I put a star on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /i/ in sun or fin? Milk or get? Is or on? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /i/ in some words. Pull your fingers apart like they have something sticky on them if you hear /i/ : The, inky stinky, bug, is, in, my, sister's, kitchen.

7. Give each student book Liz is Six and say "the girl in this story is getting  a mitt for her birthday to play baseball with a pig. Doesn't that sound silly? Let's read the book and see what will happen at the baseball game"

8. Read the text aloud all together. Ask students to show with their hands with iiicky stiiiicky hands whenever they hear and iiicky stiiiicky I in the words.

9. For assessment, have students play a game of icky sticky I bingo and assess how well they are able to identify the /i/ in the words.


 Assessment bingo game: http://www.bingocardcreator.com/bingo-cards/speech-and-language/short-i-words

Julie Kinsie, Iiiiicky Stiiiiicky


Gerri Murray, ELD example on Blackboard





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