Don’t Lick That Sticky Stuff!!

Beginning Reading Lesson

Lindsay Williams



In order for students to be successful readers, it is important that they are phonemically aware. To be phonemically aware, they must have an understanding of the short vowel sounds. This lesson was created and developed to teach children the correspondence of i = /i/ in spoken and written words. They will gain this understanding by learning meaningful representations of its sound and seeing it exposed in different words.





1.     “Boys and Girls, do you remember talking about how important it is to learn that different letters make different sounds?” Well, it is important because it helps you learn how to read. Today, we are going to learn a fun way to remember that i says /i/ in words. Have you ever eaten an ice cream cone and had it drip all down your hands? What did you say when this happened? That’s right! You said “Icky!!” This is the sound that the short i makes. Let’s all pretend that we have ice cream running down our hands and say “Iiiicky Stiiicky” while we shake our hands. Great Job guys!

2.     “Now we are going to look at this tongue twister.” Let’s say it all together. Lindsay the lizard lived in its igloo. Good! Now, we are going to say it again but this time when you hear the short i sound I want you to shake your hands and stretch out the sound. For example, if I say little, then we will say liiiiiitle instead. Li-i-i-indsay the li-i-i-izard li-i-i-ived i-i-n i-i-ts i-i-i-igloo.)

3.     Have the students to listen to a set of words and tell which word contains the /i/.  Do you hear /i/ in pig or map?  sit or sat?  bat or big?

4.     “Now that we all know how to make the /i/ sound (do “icky sticky with fingers), we are going to practice writing the letter i. Everyone needs to take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil. Everybody needs to look up at me when you are ready and I will model how to write the letter i. Watch as we start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk and then pick up your pencil and give him a dot just about the fence. “Did everyone see how I just wrote that?” I want each of you to write 10 i’s on your paper as I walk around to make sure you are all doing it correctly.

5.     “Now, it’s time to take out your letterboxes.” “Boys and girls, you will need to make sure you spread out your letters so that you can see all of them.” Make sure that each student can see the big teacher letterboxes and letters. We are going to learn how to spell words that contain /i/. Remember that each box contains just one sound. Watch as I spell our first word together. What is the first sound that you hear in the word s-s-i-i-i-t-t-t? That’s right. The first sound that we hear is /s/ so we will put an s in the first box. What is the second sound that you hear in sit? Good! We will put /i/ in the second box. Can you tell me what the last sound is in our word? That is correct! We will put /t/ in our last box. We have just spelled sit in our box. Now it is your turn to see if you can spell words that have /i/ in them. Have the students use their letters and letterboxes to spell the following words: [2- it, is; 3-big, pit, ship, him; 4-list, clip, spit; 5-drift, twist]. Tell the students how many boxes for each set of the words listed.

6.     We are now ready to practice reading with the /i/ sound. “Today, we are going to read a book called Liz is Six. This book is about a little girl named Liz who is turning six and gets a baseball glove for her birthday! She is able to catch the little pig’s hit but will the little pig be able to catch her big hit? Well you will have to read Liz is Six to see what happens to Liz and the pig. The students will read their book silently and if they come across any problems they may raise their hand for help. When they have finished reading, have them raise their hand and tell what words they found that contained /i/. We will make a list of all the words they found on the board.

7.     To assess the children, I will pass out a page with various pictures on it. Some of them will contain /i/ and some will not. Go over each picture on the page, making sure they are pronouncing it correctly. Then have the students circle the pictures that contain /i/. When they have completed it, go over all of the pictures and discuss which ones contain /i/ and which ones do not.

Melton, Shealy.  The Glue is Sticky!! (Beginning Reading)
Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650. 
(1990). Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Liz Is SixCarson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.

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