Royalty-Free (RF) Clip Art Illustration of a Cartoon Businessman In A Sticky Situation by Ron Leishman

Icky Sticky!

A Beginning Reading Lesson Design

Elizabeth Bryant

Rationale:  This lesson teaches children about the short vowel correspondence i = /i/. In order to be able to read, children must first learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling i. They will learn a meaningful representation (pinching a scruntched up nose).  They will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and they will read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence i = /i/.



* Graphic image of a man stepping in something sticky.

* Magnetic whiteboard

* Elkonin boxes for the whiteboard

* Elkonin boxes for each pair of students

* Magnetic letters and letter tiles for each pair of students letters: t, i, p, n, d, g, s, k, r, l, h

* List of spelling words on chart paper: print, is, tip, pin, dig, ship, skit, grid, list

* Decodable text: Liz is Six (enough for each child)

* Assessment worksheet




1. Say: We want to become expert readers, so we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We are going to learn about short i and the sound /i/ it makes when it's in words by itself. When I say /i/ I think of something icky sticky and it makes my nose curl up! (Show the children the graphic and pinch your curled up nose). [Have I written on the board for the children to have a visual.]


2. Say: Before we learn to read words with /i/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /i/ in words, my lips make a little stretched out smile and my mouth is open. [Make vocal gesture for /i/.] I'll show you first: big. I heard icky sticky i and I felt my lips make a stretched out smile. There is a short i in big. Now I'm going to see if it's in home. Hmm, I didn't hear the icky sticky /i/ sound and I didn't make a stretched out smile with my lips. Now you try. If you hear /i/ say, "Icky Sticky!" If you don't hear /i/ say, "That's not it." Is it in pick, rain, sing, coat, Rick, lips? [Have children stretch out their lips when they hear the icky sticky /i/.]


3. What if I want to spell the word print? "I will print my letters on my paper." Print means to write in this sentence. To spell print in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /p//r//i//n//t/. I need 5 boxes. I heard that /i/ just before the /n/ so I'm going to put an i in the 3rd box. The word starts with /p/, so I need a p. Now it gets a little tricky so I'm going to say it slowly, /p//r//i//n//t/. I think I heard /r/ so I'll put a r right after the p. Next is our icky sticky i. Let's stretch it out one more time to see what comes next: /p//r//i//n//t/. I hear /n/ so I'm going to put the n in the 4th box. Last is the /t/ so I'm going to put the t in the last box. [Stretch out the word one more time and point to the letters as you do]. /p//r//i//n//t/. That spells print, just like it is written on our chart over here: /p//r//i//n//t/, print.


4. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. Turn to your partner and work together to help each other spell the words. Take turns spelling the words and only help your partner if he or she gets stuck. You'll start out easy with two boxes for is. "Is our teacher going to be proud of us?" What should go in the first box? [Respond to children's answers]. What goes in the second box? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. [Observe progress.] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box, and then listen for /i/.Here's the word: tip, I gave the waitress a tip at the restaurant; tip. [Allow children to spell remaining words: pin, dig, ship, skit, grid, and list. Continue to monitor progress and add assistance as needed.]


5. Say: Now that we've spelled our words, we want to go back and read them! I'm going to read the last word on the list: /l/ /i/ /s/ /t/, liissst, list.


6. Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you've spelled. [Have children read words in unison from the chart hanging on the board. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.]


7. Say: You've done a supper job spelling and reading words with our icky sticky i. Now we are going to read a book called Liz is Six. This is a story about a girl named Liz who gets a mitt for her birthday. Do you think it will help her in the big game? Let's pair up and take turns reading Liz is Six to find out how the baseball game turns out. [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Liz is Six aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]


8. Say: Before we finish up with our lesson about icky sticky i, I want to see how you can solve a missing letter problem. On this worksheet, we have some words with letters missing. Your job is to look at the picture and the other letters in the word that describes the picture to figure out what letter is missing. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. If you finish early, you may color the pictures using the crayons at your table. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.]



Assessment worksheet:

Lesson guide: Murray, G., Oh, I Didn't Know! Blackboard Learning System


Text: Liz is Six by Sheila Cushman, Educational Insights, 1990.



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