Jenn Kanute
Beginning Reading

Rationale:  Beginner readers need to be taught how to break up the alphabetic code in order for them to learn how to read.  They need to learn about phonemes and how phonemes are sounds that our mouths make when we talk.  They need to understand the connection between phonemes and letters.  They need to be able to identify the sounds that each letter makes.  By learning about phonemes and letter correspondences, beginning readers can become fluent readers.  Short vowels are extremely important and sometimes difficult to learn.  This lesson will help children identify the correspondence is i=/i/, one of the short vowels.  They will learn to recognize /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /i/ in words.

Materials:  Picture card with icky-sticky gum on it and the letter I; Elkonin letterbox set for each child; lower case letters (laminated): i, n, t, f, p, g, h, m, l, d, r, s, t; cards with the following words printed on them: tin, fit, pig, him, tip, trip, slid, tilt, lid, strip, hip; Tin Man Fix-It (Phonics Readers, Educational Insights); chart with words to vowel sound song on it (Who has a wordÖ..); pencils; primary paper; assessment sheet letterboxes {#1-3 boxes (lid), #2 - 3 boxes (lip), #3 - 3 boxes (did), #4 - 4 boxes (slid), #5 - 4 boxes (grip)}

Procedures:  1.  Introduce the lesson by first explaining that letters make different sounds and that we need to be able to match letters to the sounds that they make in order to become good readers.  "Today we are going to talk about the /i/ sound.  The letter i can make the /i/ sound in words."

2.  Hold up the card with the icky-sticky gum and the letter i on it.  "A lower case i can make the /i/ sound when it is by itself in a word.  Now I want you to say the /i/ sound.  Great!  Have you ever been walking and accidently steppend in gum?  Well I have and let me tell you, it was icky-sticky!  Do you hear the /i/ sound in icky-sticky?"

3.  Have the students tell you if they hear in /i/ sound in various words.  "Do you hear the /I/ sound in hip or hop?  Frog or fish?  Nap or nip?  Hill or hole?  Ship or boat?  Great job!"

4.  Pass out primary paper and pencils.  "We can use the letter i to spell /i/.  Letís write it.  Start at the fence line and draw a tree standing straight and tall (have students draw a line).  Then go up and put the sun over the tree.  I want to see everyoneís iís. After check it, I want you to make a whole row of iís just like it.  When you see the letter /i/ all by itself in a word, you will know it makes the /i/ sound."

5.  Take out letterboxes and demonstrate with the class how to ues them to spell words.  "Now we are goin to spell some words that have the /i/ sound in them.  Each box should only have one sound in it.  I am going to spell the word sit, watch closely at what I do.  S-s-s-i-i-i-t-t-t.  It will help you if you say the word very slowly a few times to yourself.  The first sound I hear is /s/ so I will put an s in the first box.  Then I hear the /i/ sound that we have been talking about so I will put an i in the next box.  Finally I hear the /t/ sound so that tells me to put a t in the last box.  Now letís see if you can spell these words with the /i/ sound in them."  Have the students use the Elkonin letterboxes to spell the following words:  3 phonemes - tin, fit, pig, him, lid, hip; 4- trip slid, tilt; 5 - strip.  Tell the students how many boxes they need to use for each group of words.  "Now letís practice spelling some words with the /i/ sound.  See if you can spell them the same way I spelled sit earlier.  When you are finished, raise your hand and I will come by and look at your spellings."

6.  Show the students the chart with the vowel song on it.  "Who has a word that has an /i?  Has, has, has an /i/?  Who has a word that has an /i/?  Skip to the Lou, my darling!"  Sample words: itch, ice, big, and bike).  "Now letís sing this song about the /i/ sound.  If you can think of a word with /i/ in it, raise you hand and I will call on you."  Sing the song several times.

7.  Pass out copies of Tin Man Fix-It.  "Today we are going to read Tin Man Fix-It.  This book is about a tin man named Tim and his friend Jim.  One day, Tim and Jim are outside working in the garden when out of no where, a big kid named Sid comes flying by on his skateboard and runs into Tim!  Tim is all in pieces on the ground because of the wreck.  Letís find out what happens to Tim."  Have the students read the text on their own.  Afterwards, have students recall words with the /i/ sound that they read in the book and write these words on the board.

8.  For assessment pass out the sheet that has the letterboxes on it to each child.  The sheet should be numbered 1 to 5 and each number should have a certain number or letterboxes beside it.  {#1 - 3 boxes, #2 - 3 boxes, #3 - 3 boxes, #4 - 4 boxes, #5 - 4 boxes).  "Now I am going to read 5 words to you and I want you to speel the words in the boxes on your sheet of paper.  Remember to only put one sound in each box.  #1 - lid, #2 -  lip, #3 - did, #4 - slid, #5 - grip."  Have the students write the sounds they hear in the letterboxes.  After every student is finished, collect the papers to use for assessment.

Reference:  1.  Murray, B.A. and Lesniak, T. (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: a hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 644-650.
2.  Eldredge, Lloyd J.  (1995).  Teaching Decoding in Holostics Classrooms.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
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