The Itsy Bitsy Pig (Not Spider?)

Rationale: In learning to read, a child must have knowledge in two main areas: letter recognition and phonemic awareness. In most phonics programs, short vowels are taught first. Also, short vowels are the hardest to learn because, unlike long vowels, short vowels do not say their name. This lesson will teach the phoneme /i/ and model how to recognize it not only in spoken words, but also in written words as well. This lesson will also practice reacting with /i/.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil, letter boxes and letters (i, p, Ii, s, t, r, 1,1, n, g), dry erase board and dry erase markers, Tin Man. Fix-It, bowl and words to be drawn.

1. We all know the letters that make up the alphabet, the hard part is learning and
 remembering the mouth moves for each letter. Today we will review the letter i and
 talk about its short vowel sound (/i/).
2. “We have all sung the song The Itsy Busy Spider!  Well, today we will say The Itsy
Bitsy Pig! We replace spider with pig because the letter i in pig says /i/ instead of the /i/ in spider. Everyone say itsy bitsy pig with me and listen to the /i/ sound as you say it”
3. “Now, everyone look with me on the board as I show you some examples of how we
will use the /i/ sound in our letterboxes today. Let’s start with three boxes and the word
 ‘pig’. Remember each box gets only one phoneme. Do you hear the three phonemes?
Right, /p/ /i/ /g/. Now we will get a little bit trickery, with the word ‘pick’. We still only need three letterboxes because of the three phonemes in pick, /p/ /i/ /k/.”
4. “Let’s pull out our letterboxes and the letters: i, h, s, t, r, p, 1,1, n, g, and m. When I
 say the words you spell them out in the appropriate letterboxes. We will start with 2 boxes and the word, ‘in’.” I will go around and observe the students as I continue to have them spell out these words: his, tin, trim, grin, spill and print.
5. “Now as I write each word on the board, I want one row at a time to read each word. We will start with the row closest to my desk and move across the room.” I will write:
in, his, tin, trim, grin, spill, and print.
6. “We are about to read Tin Man Fix-It. Tim is a tin man who is a good friend to Jim. Jim is very good at fixing things. While Tim and Jim are planting a garden, Tim is terribly hurt.  Let’s read to see how Tim was hurt and what Jim can do to fix him! As we read, look for the words with the /i/ sound.  I will call on each student to read, so follow along with your fingers!”
7. “Let’s all write a sentence about one of our good friends! Be sure to include at least one word with the /i/ mouth move.”
8.  Assessment: “Get ready to play a game! This side of the class is team pig and this side is team spider.”  Have each contestant come up and draw a word from the bowl.  If they read the word correctly and identify whether or not the word has the /i/ sound, they earn a point!

Elderidge, J. Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Englewood Cliffs,
    NJ:  Merril.
Murray, B. A. and Lesniak, T. The Letterbox Lesson: a hands-on approach for leaching decoding. The Reading
    Teacher,52, 644-50.
Tin Man Fix-It. Carson, CA, Educational Insights.

By: Sara Ellen Killian
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