Skinny Minnie

Beginning to Read

Skye Carver


  After children have learned letter recognition and consonant phonemes they need to start learning their vowel phonemes.  The third vowel phoneme they learn is i=/i/.  They'll learn the correspondence by learning reading and spelling with letterboxes.


  Letterboxes for each student, letters-i,f,t,b,s,d,r,p,n,k,l,g and the Tin Man Fix-It; and their assessment worksheet with word choices


1.)    I will start the lesson by reminding the students that every letter comes with its own mouth movement.  “Today we are going to learn more about the short i.  Does everyone remember what a lower case i looks like? Now let’s learn about the short i and its mouth movement /i/.” 

2.)   “Now everybody think of when you’ve ever touched something gross.  Did you think ‘Ick that’s gross’?  Now I’m going to tell you a little story about Skinny Minnie and every time you hear /i/ you’re going to jump your hands back like you just touched something terribly gross.” 

3.)   “Let’s practice.  Fish sticks don’t have fins.  Good.  You only raise your hands with fish, sticks, and fins because that was the only time we heard /i/.”  Now let’s try it for real.  Skinny Minnie licks her red lollipop and kisses her daddy with her red lips.

4.)   Now every one take out your letterboxes.  Model:  “When I say a word you try to spell it by forming each phoneme in the word with your mouth to help you.  If I said the word fit I would make each part with my mouth /f/-/i/-/t/.  Now I think to myself ‘what letters make /f/-/i/-/t/?’ The letters f-I-t. And there’s my word.  Now you try.  Only use your green and blue boxes.  We’ll start small and get bigger:  2-it, if; 3-sit, fib, did; 4-grid, spin, rink; 5-print, blink.

5.)   The children read the book Tin Man Fix-It on their own.  Then ask them to recall any words with short i in it. 

6.)   Give the students a worksheet where they have to choose the word with short /i/ in it.  Sit or tap?  Red or fish?  Tom or Tim?  Pick or Step?  Mad or Pit?


Speak, Gary.  Mickey and His Icky Stickies.

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