I-I-I-Icky Sticky

sticky finger

Emergent Literacy Design

Ridey Foster



            Children need the alphabetic insight that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words before they can begin to learn to spell and read. Before children can match letters to phonemes, they have to recognize phonemes in spoken word contexts. Children have the hardest time identifying the short vowel phonemes. This lesson will help children identify /i/ (short i). They will learn to recognize /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice locating /i/ in words.



            Primary paper and pencil, chart with “That silly little inches worm lives in an igloo.”; drawing paper and crayons; Liz is Six (Educational Insight); picture handout with pig, mitten, hat, worm, lips, book, egg, wig, kitten, lizard, bus, pillow, ink.




1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our writing language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for- the mouth moves it makes as we say words. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /i/. At first /i/ will seem hidden in words, but as you become more familiar with it, you will be able to spot /i/ in a number of words.


2. Ask student have you ever touched something that is icky sticky and said /i/? Now you say it with me, lets pretend to touch something that’s icky and sticky like slime and say /i/. [wiggle your fingers.] We say icky sticky when our hands get all messy from touching some thing that’s yucky. How do your hands feel, /i/ cky st /i/ cky.  


3. Lets try a tongue twister (on the chart). “That silly little Inch worm lives in an igloo.” Everyone say it three times, all together. Let’s say it again but this time lets stretch the /i/ in each word. “That siiiiiiiilly liiiiiiiiittle iiiiinch worm liiiiiiives iiiiiiin an iiiiiigloo.” “That was great let’s do it again this time as we do it and hear the /i/ lets do our hand motion.”


4. (The students need to have their primary paper and pencils out). We can use the letter i to spell /i/. Go down from the fence, and give him a feather. I am going to walk around to see how everyone’s i looks. After I put a sticker on your paper I want you to write i nine more times. When you see the letter i all by itself in a word, that’s the signal to say /i/.


5. Let me help you find /i/ in the word thin. I am going to stretch out in super slow motion and listen for the iiiiiiiiii that we hear in iiiiiiiiicky stiiiiiiiiiiicky. Th-th-th-i-n. Th-th-th-i-i-i… there it is. I do hear the iiiiiiiii in thin.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /i/ in sit or stand? Purple or pink? His or boy? Hit or catch? Run or swim? (Pass out a card to each student.) Say: Lets say it and see if you can spot the mouth move /i/ in some words. Wiggle your fingers if you can hear /i/. That, silly, little, inch, worm, lives, in, an, igloo.


7.Read Liz is Six and talk about the story. “This book is a little girl named Liz. She is having a birthday party. One of her friends gave her a softball mitt. Liz and her friend, the pig play a softball game, they are a great match. We will have to read all about Liz to find out who won the game.” Read it again, and have the students raise their hands when they hear words with /i/. List their words on the white board. Then have each student draw something that they have touched that is icky sticky and have them write a message about it using invented spelling. Display their work around the room.


8. For assessment, hand out the picture page and help the students name each picture. Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /i/ in them.



            (1990).  Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Liz Is SixCarson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.


            Melton, Shealy. This Glue is Sticky! http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/meltonbr.html

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