Icky Sticky Kitty!

Emergent Literacy

Rachel K. Sparkman

Goal: Students will learn the short i phoneme /i/ and be able to recognize the letter-sound relationship.

Rationale: In order to learn to read, children must have phoneme awareness and letter recognition. Explicitly instructing students about phonemes and their corresponding letter symbol is the best way to develop these essential skills.

Materials: "Liz is Six" books for each student, chart paper with "The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo " tongue twister, icky sticky kitty phoneme picture, assessment worksheet with pictures of a pig, dog, kiss, bag, dollar bill, chair, stick, man, and dish.


1. Introduce the lesson: "Today we're going to learn about the mouth move /i/. First let's look at this picture. This Kitty is playing with glue! He is going to be very sticky. If I got glue on my hands, I would say 'Ick! It's so icky sticky!' Everybody say 'icky sticky!' Ok, now move your hands up and down like there's something icky on it and say 'icky sticky.' Good job! We're going to remember our icky sticky motion and use it in our lesson today." Put the picture on the phoneme area in the classroom.

2. Model listening for the sound in words "Let's listen to this tongue twister: The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo. We can stretch the words out to hear the icky sticky sound. (Model stretching 'icky sticky.')  Iiiiiiiicky stiiiiiiicky! Use your icky sticky hand motion to show me when you hear the /i/ sound. (Have the class stretch out the tongue twister and make the motion.)

3. Guided practice: "Let's listen to some practice words. I'll show you how to find /i/ in a word. I want to know whether I hear /i/ in rip or rap. I'll stretch them out and see when I can hear my icky sticky sound. Rrrrrraaaaaappp. I don't think I hear icky sticky! How about rrrrrriiiiiiiippppp. Ooh! I heard it. Rrrrrricky sticky! Now let's practice. Tell me, do you hear /i/ in spit or spot? How about in miss or mess? Pan or pin? Ok, good. Now do you hear /i/ in wig or hair? Dance or jig? Do your icky sticky motion when you hear the /i/ sound. Miss Kitty spilled her glue and it was sticky. Good job, class!" Watch the class to make sure the students are all making the motion at the appropriate times. If not, you may have to go modify or reteach some of the lesson.

4. Connect phoneme with letter representation: "The way we write the sound /i/ is with the letter i. We make the letter i by drawing a line from the fence to the sidewalk, then make a little dot between the rooftop and the fence. When you see the letter i in a word, that tells you to make the icky sticky sound. Everyone practice drawing the letter i, and I'll come around and look at your work."

5. Whole text: Read "Liz is Six" as a class. Have student make the icky sticky motion as they hear the sound. Have students read the book again as table groups. Walk around and listen as they read.

6. Assessment: Give a worksheet with pictures on it. Help the students identify each picture, and have them circle the ones that have the /i/ sound in their names.


Reference: Icky Sticky and Itty Bitty by Julie Smith. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/navig/smithjbr.html


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