Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and that spelling map out phonemes in spoken words. This lesson will help children identify the correspondence i=/i/. They will learn /i/ through an insightful representation. Students will also learn how to identify /i/ in spoken words and how to spell and read words with /i/ in them.
Materials: Card with the letter i written on it; (Elkonin) letterboxes for each student; letters need for each student: i, n, l, d, p, g, h, m, t, r, s; index cards with the words in, lid, pig, him, tin, rip, grid, slim, grin, drip, strip; copies of Tin Man Fix It for each student; and copies of assessment page with letterboxes.
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that all of the letters in our alphabet represent sounds that we make with our mouths. Hold up the card with the letter i on it. Raise your hand if you’ve seen this letter before. We’ve all seen this letter! Today we’re going to learn one of the sounds it makes. This letter makes the sound /i/. It’s important for us to know that this letter can make the /i/ sound so we can read and spell the many words that it is in.
2. Ask the students if they have ever gotten a lot of glue on their hands, or maybe even stepped in some glue. Glue is really icky and sticky! The mouth move that we make at the beginning of the word icky is the one we’re going to be spelling and reading today. Let’s say icky sticky a few times together, noticing how our mouths move when we say it.
3. The first thing we’re going to do is see if we can hear /i/ in some
you hear /i/ in tin or map? Dog or fish? Bill or bed? Pick or hat? Jump or ship?
4. Explain to the students how the letterboxes work-each box represents each sound or mouth move in a word. Show the students how to spell words using the letterboxes by saying: I’m going to spell a word that has three mouth moves in it. The word is tin. First I hear /t/, so I’m going to put a t in the first box. Then I hear /i/, like icky sticky. That means an i comes next. Then I hear /n/, so I’ll put n in the last box. Once students understand how to spell words using the letterboxes, call out words for them to spell-2 boxes: in; 3 boxes: lid, pig, him, tin, rip; 4 boxes: grid, slim, grin, drip; 5 boxes: strip. (Tell students how many boxes they will need for each word.)
5. Now we’re going to practice reading some of these words we just spelled. Hold up index cards with the words written on them. (in, lid, pig, him, tin, rip, grid, slim, grin, drip, strip) Call on students to read the words.
6. Have students read Tin Man Fix It. Notice if there are any words in the story that have /i/ in them. When we all finish reading the story we’re going to make a list of all of the words that we find with /i/. After the list is complete, read it together.
7. For assessment, each student will receive a paper with letterboxes already drawn with 2, 3, 4, and 5 boxes. I will call out words for students to spell using the letterboxes. As I call out these words, remember that one sound or mouth move goes in each box. (in, it, win, tip, slid, brim, strip)
Reference: Murray, Bruce A. and Theresa Lesniak. The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, Vol. 52, No. 6. March 1999. P. 644-650.
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