Icky Sticky Inchworm

Emergent Literacy

By: Kristin Neely

Rationale: This lesson will help inform students that letters stand for phonemes, which later help map out words (written or spoken) by their spelling. By teaching the short i phoneme, students will learn the specific sound that goes with this specific letter.  Children need to know phonemes before they can make meaning out of words. At the end of this lesson a child should be able to recognize the phoneme i in spoken word and written text.

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil. Chart with “Hurry, pick and lick the sticky popsicle before it goes icky”; letter boxes and laminated letters for phoneme spelling exercises (phoneme 3- pick, lick, tick, sick; phoneme 4- stick); Icky Sticky Inchworm; picture worksheet with pictures such as: mittens, kit (first aid), hit, sit, lit, kitten.


“Ok children, we have already learned two very important letters and their short vowel sounds. Do you remember what we have already learned?  That’s right, we have learned about a says /a/ and e says /e/.   Today we are going to learn another short vowel, i ! The short i can be heard in the word icky. Can you hear the /i/ in icky?”. Point around the room at different things that have the short i in them.  Write words on the board: kit, mitt, inch, sitting (point at a child and ask what he/she is doing), Mississippi. Extend the /i/ sound in each word so the children can hear it.

“Now lets all try a tongue twister with the short i vowel sound”. Write the tongue twister on the board and point at the words while saying it through one time first. “‘Hurry, pick and lick the sticky popsicle before it goes icky’ Can you hear which words have the short i sound? Circle the words with the /i/ sound in them after discussing words with the class. 

“I want us to practice saying the circled words with exaggeration. That means I want to be able to hear all short i sounds in this sentence. Ok lets all say the tongue twister together. ‘Hurry, p/i/ck and l/i/ck the st/i/cky popsc/i/cle before /i/t goes /i/cky.’ Great job!”

Ask students to get out their primary paper and pencil. “Now I want you all to watch me write the letter i. Ok, now I want you to follow along with me as I write it again. Start at the middle dotted line and make one line straight to the bottom line like this.” (model) “Ok now let’s not forget to dot our i’s”. Have students practice more while you walk around the room”. After a few minutes do another model in front of the class. “You are all doing so well, I’m very proud of you!”

“Ok, now I want your groups (students will be seated in groups of four in the classroom already) to get out your letter boxes and letters. Please place them in the middle of your desks and wait. Ok, I want your group leader to get out the following letters: p, i, c, k, l, t, y, s. Ok, now I am going to call out some words and I want your pod to work together in deciding how to spell these words. Ok, let’s start with 3 box words.” Go through each word and then move to 4 box words.

“Ok class, great job! Now I want to read you a story. This is a short story called Icky Sticky Inchworm. I want you all to pay very close attention. Every time you hear me say the short “i” sound, I want you to put your pointer finger on your nose. Are you ready?” Read the short story and watch for children to respond. Practice another time so that children get practice hearing the letter in the middle of text.

“Ok, now I am going to pass out some worksheets. These work sheets have pictures on them. Some of these pictures have the short i sound in their spelling. Circle the words that you think have the i sound in the word.  I want you to work very hard and I will be around to check your work.” Pass out handouts, and continue to monitor class progress.

Assessment: Collect all handouts after completion.

Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 644-650.

http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/wattsel.html (Emily Watts)

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