Izzy’s Sticky Pig




Emergent Literacy


Casey Morrow



Children need to understand that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in spoken words in order to learn to read and spell words.  Students must understand that letters have a corresponding sound.  For children to learn to read and write they must learn how spoken language maps onto written language. The goal of this lesson is to look at the correspondence, i=/i/.  The lesson will show the students the short i sound and provide a vocal gesture to help the students remember the letter/sound correspondence.  The students will also connect i=/i/ to print after I read the book, Liz is Six.


primary paper; pencil; Liz is Six (Educational Insights); dry erase board; eraser; dry erase marker; chart with “The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo”; picture cards with a twig, a pig, a bat, a wig, an igloo, a pin, a dress, a drink, a brick, a mint, a crib, and a swing; a treasure box; and a picture page with pictures of  a bag, pin, igloo, Indian, cup, key, and a wig.



1.  I am going to compare the lesson to figuring out a treasure map.  The treasure hunt will be finding the /i/ sound in words. “I am going to tell all of you a secret code.  Our entire written language is a secret code.  Each letter has a mouth move to go with it.  Figuring out the mouth move can be very tricky; it is like trying to figure out a treasure map.  Today we are going to discover the code for the mouth move /u/.  The /u/ sound at first can seem hidden in words, but as you practice, you will be able to find the treasured /u/ in lots of words.” 

2.  Next I will talk about the sound that the letter /i/ makes.  I will relate that sound to touching or seeing something icky.  “Has anyone every touched something very sticky and icky?  Well the /i/ makes the same sound that we would make if we had something sticky and icky on our fingers.  Who can guess what that sound might be?  We say /i/ when something sticky and icky is on our fingers.  Notice what your mouth is doing when you say the /i/.  Hold up your sticky icky fingers and all together let’s say /i/.” 

3.  I will then do a tongue twister, allowing the students to hold up their sticky icky fingers each time they hear the /i/ sound in a word.  The tongue twister chart will be out at this time.  “Now let’s try a tongue twister.  Each time you here the /i/ sound I want you to pay attention to how your mouth moves; as you are doing this hold up your sticky icky fingers whenever you hear the sound /i/ too. Let me show you how to do it.  “The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo.”  Now I want you to do it the exact same way.  Let’s all say it three times together, and don’t forget your fingers.  Great job!  Now let’s say it again and this time stretches the /i/ sound at the beginning of the words.  “The iiiimportant IIIndian was iiill with iiinjuries iiinside the iiigloo.”  Thank you for doing such a great job stretching the /i/ sound.  Let’s try it one last time and this time let’s break it off the word.  For example, when I say the word igloo I will say it /i/  gloo, lets do this altogether.  “The /i/  mportant  /i/  ndian  was  /i/  ll  with /i/  njuries  /i/  nside the  /i/  gloo.” 

4. The students will now take out a sheet of primary paper and their pencil.  They are to practice writing the i.  Mixing the lesson with print will help the students to understand the connection better.  I will model the students through the first one on the board.  The board will be lined like their paper.  As I guide them through this, I will say exactly what I am doing as I do it.  “I now want you to take out a sheet of your paper and a pencil.  Let me first show you on the board how I make the letter i.  I will start with my pencil on the fence and move it down to the ground.  Next I will lift my pencil up and give it a hat right above the fence.  Now let’s try it together.  Great job!  Now say it with me this time.  Ok now I am going to walk around the room and if I put a pig sticker on your sheet I want you to write the letter five more times.”

5.  I will now pull out my treasure box.  The students are to look at the picture on the card that I pull out.  If they hear the /i/ sound they are to hold up their hands like we did with icky sticky.  “Now class you may put that away.  I have my treasure box here and inside are some cards with pictures on them.  I will draw out the picture and we will all say the word, if you hear the /i/ in any of the words I want you to hold up your hands like we did with icky sticky.  Let’s me show you how to do one.  For example if I say the word, wig, I am going to think about the word and raise my hand if I hear the /i/ sound.  Now lets try some more.”

6.  I am going to read Liz is Six.  The students are to listen for the words that they here the /i/ in.  “Ok students now I want you to pay attention to the book Liz is Six.  I will read the book to you; your job is to listen for the words that have the /i/ sound.”  We will have a discussion about the text.

7.  I will read the book again.  This time the students are to put up their icky sticky fingers whenever they hear a word that has the /i/ sound.  I will point to a student and have them tell me the word; I will then copy that word onto the board for the students to see the spelling and where the /i/ sound is found.  “I now want all of you to listen to the story one more time.  This time I want you to hold up your icky sticky fingers whenever you hear a word in the story that has the /i/ sound in it.  Let me show you how.  I will call on a student with their icky sticky fingers to tell me the word so I can write it up on the board.  I want you to pay attention to where the /i/ sound is found in each of these words.”



For the assessment, I will hand out a picture page.  We will name all of the pictures together.  The students are to circle the pictures whose name has the /i/ sound in it.  “Ok class lets name all of these pictures together.  Great! Now I want you to circle the pictures on that page whose name has the /i/ sound in it.”



Eldredge, J.L.  (2005). Developing Phonemic Awareness Through Stories, Games, and Songs.  Teach Decoding Why and How, 60-65.

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