Icky Sticky Fingers

Emergent Literacy

Megan Zickos

Rationale:  For students to learn words, they need to learn that each letter that makes up a word has a sound and that when those sounds are put together may words can be spelled.  Short vowels are often harder to the students to see and say their sound.  This lesson will help students to identify /i/ (short i).  They will learn this sound by looking at it in words, reciting it to the teacher, and by learning a meaningful representation and letter symbol.



    Class today we are going to learn about the letter i.  The sound an i makes is /i/.  Can you repeat that? (Have the children repeat that to you a few times.)  You are going to see that today our words are going to have this sound in them.
    Show students the picture of the woman with glue on her hands and ask the class:  What do you think this is a picture of class?  Well think of the sound you might make if you got glue all over your hands?  Yes class you would make the sound /i/.  So whenever you see the letter i in a word you can think if sticky glue on your hands and say /i/. 

    Now can you all tell me how our mouth is when we say the /i/ sound?  Well our mouth kind moves apart and our tongue goes down to the bottom of our mouth.  Try the sound with me.
    Now let's try a tongue twister with the /i/ sound.  "Issy the iguana is in the igloo."  Everybody say it with me two times.  Now say it and stretch out the /i/ at the beginning of the words.  "Iiiissy the iiiguana iiis iiin the iiigloo."  Try it again, and this time break off the word: "/i/ ssy the /i/ guana /i/ s /i/ n the /i/ gloo."

    Now students I would like for you to get out your paper and a pencil.  We can use the letter i to spell /i/.  Let's write it.  Start at the bottom of the line and go up to the dotted line.  Then go in between the dotted line and the top line and place a small dot.  This is what an i looks like.  Now everybody draw an i and I will come around an check it.  As soon as I have checked it try to write eight more.  So when you see the letter i in a word you know it makes the sound /i/.

    Let me show you how to find the /i/ sound in the word gift.  I am going to stretch out the word and see if you can hear the /i/ like the icky fingers.  G-g-g-g-i-f-t.  G-g-g-i-i-i Yep that's it.  I hear the /i/ sound do you all hear it.

    Now I will go through and show you some words with the letters and you will help me read them aloud.  (Call on different students to help sound out the words with the sound /i/.  (words that will be used are in, sit, tin, pit, brick, clip, slim, and drink)

    Say: "Liz is Six"  Liz is a girl and it is her birthday.  It looks like she is going to get a gift.  I wonder what the gift will be?  We will have to read to find out.  Read the story and then when you read it through again have the students clap their hands when they hear a word with the sound /i/.  Write the words out so that the students can see them.
    Now students I want you to pretend it is your birthday today and I want you to draw a picture and write me a message about what you would want for your birthday.

    For assessment, ask each student to tell you which word they hear the /i/ in.  Example would be "Do you hear the /i/ in the word sit or sat?" "Do you hear it in it or an?" "Pat or pit?" "Mitten or glove?"


Cuhman, Sheila. Liz is Six. Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990.

Adams, Marilyn. Beginning to Read. IL: The Reading Research and Education Center, 1990.

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