Iiiihhh…that’s icky sticky

Brittany Bailey

Emergent Literacy


Rationale:  Beginning readers must be able to recognize letters and their sounds.  This lesson is aimed at helping students identify i=/i/ in spoken and written words.  Through letter and phoneme recognition, students will be able to recognize i=/i/ in spoken and written text.  Also, by the end of this lesson the students will be able to write Ii.



1)      I will begin the lesson by explaining to the students that each sound has its own mouth movement.  “Today, boys and girls, we are going to learn how the letter i makes the /i/ sound.

2)      Ask the students if they have ever had sticky hands.  Ask them what sound they make when they have sticky hands.  Is it “Iiiihhh”?  This is the way our mouth makes the sound for short /i/.  Today we are going to listen for that sound and try to make that sound in some new words.

3)      Now let’s practice the /i/ sound with a tongue twister.  Pointing to the poster we will all say, “The itsy bitsy spider inched its way into its itsy bitsy spider web”.  I want us all to hold the /i/ sound out like this “The iiiiiitsy biiiiitsy spider iiiiiinched iiiiiits way iiiiiiiinto iiiiiiits iiiiiiitsy biiiiitsy spider web”.  Good job!

4)      (Give the students primary paper and pencils).  Let’s use the i=/i/ sound to spell the letter i.  (Model to the students how to make both an uppercase and lowercase i before explaining to them how to do it).  To make a capital I we are going to start with a straight back then give him his headdress and moccasins.  To make a lowercase i we are going to go down from the fence and then give him a feather.  Now I want you to make 5 more of each on your own.  Good job!

5)      Next, I will have the students identify the i=/i/ sound in different words.  I will say, “Do you hear /i/ in box or sit, kit or top, inch or nap, fit or top, mitten or cap.

6)      Ask the students if any of them like spiders.  (Hopefully the will reply with “Iiiiihhhhh!”).  Well, this book we are about to read is about spiders, but to find out more about it we are going to have to read The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  (Read the book aloud to the students)  Every time you hear the /i/ sound I want you to hold up your sticky fingers.  Okay listen closely!

7)      (Hand out copies of worksheets for each student). 

For assessment, I am going to give the students a worksheet to complete with pictures of things such as an iguana, igloo, and an inchworm.  Some of the pictures will have the i=/i/ sound and some will not.  “When you find a picture of something that has the sound i=/i/ in it I want you to circle that picture. If it does not have the /i/ sound you will not circle that picture. 


Trapani, Iza.  The Itsy Bitsy Spider.  New York.  Published by Scholastic, Inc., 1993, 27pp.

Horton, Shelley.  “Slithering Silly Snakes”.  http://www.auburn.edu/%7Emurraba/invent/hortonel.html

Biggee, Ashley.  “Aaaa! Ashley’s Scared of /a/!”


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