Lesson Design "Icky Sticky Hands"

Lauren Cauthen     Beginning Readers    



Phonemic awareness and letter recognition are the two crucial steps towards beginning literacy. Emerging readers must learn to recognize the distinct sounds of our spoken language. Beginning readers must then learn to recognize letters as written representations of these sounds in order to make correspondences between written letters and the phonemes (mouth moves/sounds) that they represent. I would like for this lesson to make the i = /i/ (short i) correspondence memorable for students. The lesson will allow students to practice hearing, producing, and recognizing the short "i" sound, and to recognize, spell, and read words that have the short "i" sound.


     -- Chart with "Itsy bitsy inchworms are making Isabelle itch."

-- Drawing paper and crayons or markers for each student

-- Elkonan box overhead and letters t, r, i, c, k   for model

-- Dry erase board with writing paper lines and marker

-- Picture of lady with sticky hands (found on Reading Genie website at http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/phonpics.html )

-- LBL materials for each student, including letters: I, f, p, g, x, b, e, d, z, a, t, c, k, m, n, s

-- Copies of Liz is Six from the Educational Insights Phonics Readers



1) Introduce the lesson by showing students the picture of the lady  with sticky fingers. Say, "Think of a time when you got something really icky on your hands, and imagine how it felt. It makes me feel like this. (Model motion while saying "icky sticky". Can everyone say " icky sticky" with me while you shake  the goop off your icky sticky hands? (Do so.) Now can you really stretch out the /i/ sound like this (model) while we say it again?"

2) Sometimes the letter "I" makes the icky sticky sound. Let's see if we can hear the icky sticky letter "I" in this sentence: Itsy bitsy inchworms are making Isabelle itch. Can you say it with me this time and we can do our icky sticky motion every time we hear the icky sticky letter "I" say "iiiii" ? Iiiiiiitsy Biiiiiitsy iiiiiinchworms are making Iiiiisabelle iiiitch?"

3) Let's try spelling some words with the icky sticky "I" sound. I am going to spell the word "trick". I am going to say it really slow to make sure I hear all of the sounds I need to spell: ttt rrr iii ccckk. TTT; that is the "t" sound, so I know to put a "t" in my first square. Trrrrrick. Next I hear the "rrrrr" sound. That is the sound an "r" makes, so I know to put an r in the next box. Triiiiiiick. That was the icky sticky sound! I know that sound! The "I" makes that sound, so I am going to put it in the next box. TriCK. I know that sometimes at the end of words, "ck" makes the "k" sound, so I am going to put those together to make the "k" sound. Trick, I have my word! Now let"s give you some words to try." Prepare students with letterbox materials.

4)Facilitate as children spell the following words:

2 Boxes:


3 Boxes:







4 Boxes:



Have students read aloud the words  you have spelled as you reveal them from the list on the overhead, one at a time.

5) (Pass out books as you talk). "Now that we are doing such a great job at using our icky sticker letter "I" we are going to practice our skills by reading a book, Liz is Six. It"s Liz"s birthday, and she gets a baseball mitt! Will she be able to use it to win the baseball game? Let"s find out. Take turns reading the book, one page at a time, to your reading partner." (Facilitate by walking around and observing as children read.)

6) "Let"s do an activity that will help us remember about the icky sticky i." Pass out white paper and crayons/markers. Demonstrate or have a model picture on display. Have children trace their hands, and draw icky goo dripping from the fingers. Write an "I" on the palm and have the students write as many words as they can think of with the long "I" sound on the area of the paper around the hand.


Teacher will assess as students spell and read words. As students work with their hand drawings, have students come up one at a time to read a list of words to you for miscue notes.


For more ideas, check out http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/catalysts/lovelessbr.html for IIIcky, IIIcky, Stiiicky by Valerie Loveless.