Sticky, Icky Glue, Ew!


A Beginning Reading Lesson

Bembry Smith


Rationale: In order for children to become successful readers and writers they must have the understanding of the alphabetic principal. Children must learn the spellings that map word pronunciations. This lesson will teach children to recognize, spell, and read words containing the short vowel i= /i/.

They will learn a meaningful representation (Icky Sticky Glue), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence i=/i/. 



-Image of icky sticky glue

-Large Elkonin box for teacher use

-Individual Elkonin boxes for students (up to 5 boxes)

-Poster with tongue twister “It is important to get the sticky icky glue out of igloo.”

-Plastic letters for each student (i, f, d, g, w, n, p, t, s, h, m, l, k, c, r)

-Primary paper and pencils

-Decodable text Tin Man Fix-It

-List of spelling words on poster to read (if, dig, win, pit, dish, slim, link, mint, crisp).

-Pseudoword Test (ig, fip, rit, lim, plin, rish)



1.      Start the lesson off by saying, “The English written language is like a secret code; each letter has its very own sound and mouth movement that goes with it. Today we are going to learn the short vowel i=/i/.” Write the letter i on the board to introduce the letter. “When I say /i/ I think of sticky icky glue getting on my hands (show sticky icky glue image). Whenever you get something sticky on your hands like glue or sticky syrup do you ever say iiiiiicky?  When we say iiiicky the /i/ sound makes our mouth do something interesting; our mouth is slightly opened and our tongue is slightly lowered. “Let’s see what our mouth does when we say /i/. Have the students say /i/ and allow to notice what their mouth is doing.

2.      “When we hear the /i/ sound how about we shake our hands in front of us like we got something sticky on them.” Model the hand movements while saying sticky icky glue. “Alright everyone raise your hands and shake um while we say sticky icky. Very good!”

3.      Next I will introduce the new tongue twister. “Im going to read aloud the tongue twister and then I will have you read it with me, have the poster big enough and where everyone can see it.” I will read it aloud normally the first time. “It is important to get the sticky icky glue out of igloo.” Next I will exaggerate the /i/ sound in the words. “Iiiiiit iiiis iiiiiimportant to get the stiiiicky iiiicky glue out of the iiigloo.” The kids will say the tongue twister along with me and I will ask them to use the sticky icky hand movements every time they hear the /i/ sound. We will do this four times with the exaggerations and hand movements.

4.      Next we will practice finding the /i/ sound in spoken words. Listen to the two words I’m saying and see if you can hear the sticky icky /i/ sound in them.” Do you hear /i/ in bit or bag? Wind or cloud? Hit or run?”

5.      Use the teacher’s larger Elkonin box and large letters to model how to do a Letterbox lesson.”What if I want to spell the word drip? ‘If you don’t turn the sink all the way off the water will drip.’ Drip in this sentence means to leak. To spell drip in letterboxes, first I need to know the number of phonemes. I’m going to stretch the word out when I say it so I can see how many different sounds there are: /d/ /r/ /i/ /p/. So I need four boxes. I hear /d/ at the beginning so I’m going to put a d in the first box. Next I hear a /r/ sound so r will go in the second box. The thirds sound I hear /i/ sounds like sticky icky so that means an i will go in the third box.  The last sound I hear and the last letter box sound like /p/ like a pig, so p will go in the last box.  After I model how to spell the word I will model reading the word that I spelled. I will have the word on a sheet of paper and tape it to the board, ‘drip.’ “Now I will show you how I read a word after I spell it. The first letter I read sounds like /d/, next I hear /r/ so I will blend those two sounds together, /d/,/r/, /dr/. Oh now I hear that /i/ like sticky icky. /d/ /r/ i/. And lastly I hear /p/ sp when I put them all together I hear /d/ /r/ /i/ /p/, ‘drip!’”

6.      Now I will hand out the individual Elkonin boxes and plastic letters to the students. “Now it is your turn to practice spelling words using letterboxes. We’re going to start of easy with two boxes for if. ‘You will learn how to spell words if you practice.’ What letter is going to go in the first box? (have students answer). What about the second box, what sound do you hear? It’s an /f/ sound so what letter will go next? (observe answers). You will need three letterboxes for the next word. Here’s the word; dig. I want to dig a hole in the dirt; dig. Try this one on your own and if you hear the /i/ sound I want to see you shaking your sticky icky glue hands.” (Check answers). Children will continue to spell the remaining words: 3) win, pit, dish. 4) slim, link, mint. 5) crisp.

7.      “Let’s read the words we just spelled!” (have the children read the words in unison off the poster that has the words already written on it. Afterwards call on individuals to read a word from the list.

8.      “Ya’ll have done such a fantastic job reading and writing words with i=/i/. Let’s now read a book called Tin Man Fix-It. This is a story about Tim who is a tin man. His friend Jim is a fix-it man. A skateboarder hits Tim. What do you think is going to happen to Tim?”(Have the students pair up and do a buddy read, alternating pages, while the teacher walks around the room to monitor progress). When the students are finished reading have them write a message to their partner about something that they can fix (use primary paper and pencils).


Assessment: Throughout the lesson I will assess each student by walking around during the letterbox lesson to make sure they have an understanding of the i letter-sound correspondence. I will also have the students come up one by one and read the following pseudowords: ig, rit, fip, lim, plin, rish.



 The Reading Genie:

Dyess, Trinity. (2007)

Tin Man Fix-It . Educational Insights. (1990).


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