Icky Fingers

Beginning Reading

by Angela Pridmore

Rationale: In order to learn to read and spell words, children need to understand digraphs so they can match letters to their phonemes. In this lesson, children will recognize the short vowel i = /i/ in both spoken and written words by practicing reading and spelling words containing i = /i/. The children will all participate individually in a letter box lesson and practice with recognizing words that have the /i/ sound in them.

Materials: Elkonin Letter Boxes; letters: b, I, g, p, t, r, c, k, j, l, l, s, n, h, w, m, w; flashcards of the letterbox words (in, it, big, bill, pig, Jill, sing, hill, twig, swim, spring) on them (one set of cards for every two students); primary paper and pencils; Silly Sally by Audrey Wood

1) Introduce the lesson by writing the letter i on the board. Say: Often times, when you see this letter it makes the /i/ sound in many of the words you will come across. Today we are going to work on reading and spelling words with the i = /i/ in them.
2) A good way to remember this is to think of the sound you would make if you got slime on your fingers ãickä. ãLetâs wiggle our fingers while we say icky fingers, icky fingers, ick, ick, ickä (Teacher models as she says this).
3) Write: The big pig tricked Jill so she would sing up the hill. Let's say this tongue twister together. Read it twice. How many words did you hear the /i/ sound in? 6 Good Job! What were some of those words? I will then write them on the board. Let's repeat this one more time and really emphasize the i = /i/. Erase the words and sentence when finished.
4) Now I am going to work with the children hearing sounds in different words and being able to pick out the /i/. I am going to ask them: Do you hear the /i/ in ________ or _________? The word choices will be: pin or crayon; sink or watch; bid or brush; thin or can; ship or hair.
5) Students will take out the letterboxes and letters. Say: Now we are going to work on spelling out some words with the /i/ sound in them. We are going to spell only one sound in each of our boxes when we spell words. Are there any questions? You guys are going to do a great job I know but first I am going to show you an example on the board. /i/ move i to middle box, /f/ move f to first box, and /g/ move g to last box. Fig. Ok, now let's spell some words.
2 letter boxes: in, it
3 letter boxes: big, bill, pig, Jill, sing, hill
4 letter boxes: twig, swim
5 letter boxes: spring
6) In pairs the students will use flashcards to practice reading aloud the words from the letterbox lesson. The teacher will obseve and assess the students during this part.
7) Now students are going to practice reading with the i = /i/ by reading the book Silly Sally. I am going to have the students pay attention to other concepts that they have learned about reading and writing earlier.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd. (1995) Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 54-57.

Murray, Bruce and Lesniak T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on Approach to teaching decoding. The reading Teacher, 52. 644-650.

Wood, Audrey. Silly Sally. (1992).

For further infomrmation, send e-mail to pridmac@auburn.edu.