Icky! Sticky!


Beginning Reading Literacy Design

Bailey Taylor


In order for students to become successful readers, they must be able to recognize that each letter in the alphabet represents a different sound.  Students can become fluent readers only after they learn about phonemes and letter correspondences.  This lesson focuses on helping students identify and learn the vowel correspondence i = /i/.  Students will learn this correspondence through meaningful examples and instruction.  They will practice finding, spelling, and reading words with /i/ through a letterbox lesson and reading a book.



Sentence Strip with Tongue Twister, "Lizzy the icky sticky pig slid into the igloo."

Dry erase board and marker

Primary paper and pencils

Elkonin boxes for each student (up to 5 boxes)

Plastic letter tiles for each student (i, t, s, p, b, g, n, r, l, m, k)

Oversized Letterbox and letters for modeling (for teacher)

Picture of girl modeling "Icky Sticky" (girl with glue on her hands)

Liz is Six (one for each student)

Pseudoword Test (nid, siv, rik, dif, gip)



<!--[if !supportLists]--> 1.      <!--[endif]-->Start the lesson by reviewing the notion that the English written language is like a code; each letter makes a certain sound and mouth movement.  Say: The letter we are going to learn about today is i and it makes the /i/ sound.  Everyone say /i/ with me. Perfect!

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 2.      <!--[endif]-->Has anyone ever gotten anything sticky on their hands, like gum, glue, or honey?  What did you say? Right, some of you may have said "Eww, iiiicky!"  That iiii-cky sound you made was the /i/ sound I am talking about.  Now say /i/ again and focus on how your mouth moves.  Your mouth is open with your tongue slightly lowered. 

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 3.      <!--[endif]-->Show the picture of the girl with sticky hands and the letter i on the page.  Say: This is a picture of a girl who got something very sticky on her hands.  Look at how she is holding her hands.  (Demonstrate the hand motion.)  Whenever you hear /i/, this is the hand motion we will make.  Let"s try it together.  Great!

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 4.      <!--[endif]-->Now let"s try a tongue twister while using our icky sticky fingers.  (Have the students look at the sentence strip on the board with the tongue twister written on it.)  I am going to say the tongue twister first, and every time you hear /i/, I want you to make your icky sticky fingers.  "Lizzy the icky sticky pig slid into the igloo."  Good job listening for the /i/.  Now let"s say it together two times, and make sure you use your icky sticky fingers.  Sounds good!  This last time, I want you to stretch out the /i/ sound whenever you hear it. "L-iiii-zzy the iiii-cky st-iiii-cky p-iiii-g sl-iiii-d iiii-nto the iiii-gloo." Excellent!

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 5.      <!--[endif]-->Let"s practice finding /i/ in spoken words.  Do you hear /i/ in big or bag? slurp or sip? sing or yell? cow or pig? Good listening!

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 6.      <!--[endif]-->Then hand out the Elkonin boxes and plastic letters to every student.  Model how to spell a word using the letterboxes.  Tell them that each box represents a different sound in the word.  Say: Everyone look up at me and watch what I do.  I am going to spell the word spit using these boxes.  Spit has four different sounds, /s/, /p/, /i/, and /t/.  Since there are four separate sounds, I will need four boxes.  The first sound is /s/, so I will put the letter s in the first box.  The next sound is /p/, so I will put p in the second box.  The next sound I hear is /i/, so the letter i goes in the next box.  The last sound I hear is /t/ so I will put the letter t in the last box.  This is how you use the letterboxes. 

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 7.      <!--[endif]-->Now model how to read the word lid using body-coda blending.  Say: I am going to show you how to read the word lid.  We know i says /i/ in the middle of the word.  At the beginning of the word l says /l/ and the last letter is d which says /d/.  When we put those sounds together, we get" lid!

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 8.      <!--[endif]-->Begin the letterbox lesson by having the students lay out all the plastic letter tiles on their desk so they can see each letter.  Start with words that have two phonemes, and work up to five phonemes.  Have each student spell: 2"[it], 3-[sip, big, pin, rig], 4-[lint, mist], 5-[brisk].  Walk around the classroom as the students work on the letterboxes.  If a student misspells a word, pronounce the word exactly like they spelled it, then say "I want you to spell (say the correct word)."  Have the students raise their hand when they are finished and you will check their work.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 9.      <!--[endif]-->As the students put up their boxes and the letter tiles, write all the words they just spelled on the dry erase board.  Have the students read the words they just spelled as a way to check their understanding and to assess them.  Say: Earlier I showed you body-coda blending with the word lid.  This means we will start with the beginning of the word and then add the end of the word.  I will now model how to use body-coda blending on the word stick.  I will cover up all of the letters except for the vowel, i, which sounds like icky sticky /i/.  Then I uncover the first part of the word, st, which says /s/ /t/.  Next I uncover the last part of the word, ck, which says /k/.  Now, we blend all the sounds together and the word is stick.  Read these words back to me, and if you have trouble, try body-coda blending. 

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 10.  <!--[endif]-->Give each student a copy of the book, Liz is Six.  To get the students excited about reading, give a short book talk.  Say:  This book is about a girl named Liz.  She gets a baseball mitt for her birthday so she decides to play baseball with her friends.  A pig is first up to bat!  Have any of you played baseball with a pig?  I know I haven"t.  To see if the pig gets a home run, you will have to read the rest of the story.  Now whisper read this book to yourself.  (Walk around the room and observe the students as they read).

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 11.  <!--[endif]-->Hand out primary paper and a pencil to each student.  Say:  Now I want you to write a message about your favorite part of the book or about your favorite animal and what sport you would play with that animal. 

<!--[if !supportLists]--> 12.  <!--[endif]-->For assessment, have students come up one at a time while the others finish writing their message.  Give each student a pseudoword test with the correspondence /i/.  Say: I want you to read these words to me.  They are not real words, just silly one, but I want you to try and say them out loud to me.  Then give them the words: nid, siv, rik, dif, gip.




Betbeze, Meg. "Icky Sticky Fingers!"



Falls, Jennifer.  "Iiizzy is Iiicky Sticky!" http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/fallsbr.html


Murray, B. A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). "The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding." The Reading Teacher, volume 52, no. 6, 644-650.


Phonics Readers Short Vowels: Liz Is Six. (1990). Carson, CA (USA), St Albans, Herts. (UK): Educational Insights.

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