Izzy the Insect

 Mallory Durham

 Emergent Literacy


Rationale:  To read and spell words, children must be able to identify letters and their phonemes.  Letter knowledge is one of the best predictors of reading success.  This lesson will introduce the letter, the sound, and the mouth move for /i/.  They will accomplish this by listening for, repeating, and sounding out the /i/.   

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Izzy imagines itchy insects"; Izzy the Insect (stuffed animal); picture page with mitt, pin, pet, dig, hug, lid, mat, log, ink, cat; drawing paper and crayons, Miss Sid (SFA Foundation, 2000); letter i cards (one for each child)


  1. Do you ever stop to think about the sounds we hear in the words we speak or read?  Well today we're going concentrate on hearing the /i/ and making its mouth movement.
  2. Izzy Insect can help you remember the /i/ because that's the sound she makes when she wiggles her antennas.  Demonstrate by putting index fingers on the top of your head while stretching /iii/. 
  3. Let's try the tongue twister printed on the chart:  "Izzy imagines itchy insects!" Everybody says it three times together.  "Now this time I want you to stretch the /i/ at the beginning of the words.  Iiizzy iiimagines iiitchy iiinsects!"  Try it again and this time I want you to break the /i/ off the word:  "/i/zzy /i/magines /i/tchy /i/nsects!" 
  4. Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  First, model the formation of the letter i using the letter formation cue.  Begin at the top of the fence, make one stroke down, lift your pencil, and dot directly above the top of the fence.  Now why don't you practice writing the letter i.  Remember, start at the top of the fence, make one stroke down, lift your pencil, and dot directly above the top of the fence.  I want to see everybody's i.  After I put a sticker on your paper, I want you to make seven more i's just like the one you made before.
  5. Call on the students to answer the following:  Do you hear /i/ in sit or stand?  bug or big?  fit or fog?  knit or cat?  Now let's see if you can spot the mouth move /i/ in some words.  If you hear the /i/ sound, I want you to wiggle your antennas.  "Izzy is interested in itchy insects."
  6. Read Miss Sid.  Have the students raise show their i card when they hear the words with /i/.  List those words on the board.  Have the students draw their own insect and write a message about it using invented spelling.  Display their artwork!
  7. For assessment, distribute the picture page.  Go through each picture with the students.  Have them circle the pictures if they hear the /i/. 


·  Success For All Reading Development Team.  Fast Track Phonics for Roots.  Baltimore, Maryland:  Success For All Foundation, 2002.  pp. 19-21.

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