"Tricky Nicky"
Beginning Reading


Brice Jackson

Rationale:  Children need to learn a word identification strategy while their word recognition skills are few.  This activity helps them use /i/ words to increase their identification skills by applying the word identification strategy the teacher is teaching.

- Primary paper, Copies of Tin Man Fix-It for each child, index cards with /i/ words from the Kissing Hand on it.


1. Today we are going to talk about words with the /i/ sound.  Who remembers what /i/ should remind us of?  Thatâs right, "Icky sticky."  So everyone shake your hands like your trying to get something gross off.  Now everyone say, "Icky sticky."  Do you hear the /i/ sound/.  Good.

2.  Listen to this tongue twister, "Tricky Nicky kicked her pig and grinned."  Try it with me.  Good.  Now we are going to do it again, but when we come to the /i/ sound hold it out a little like this, Piiiig.  Hold the sound out.  Go through it again.  Very Good.

3. Pass out some paper.  Now that we know that the /i/ sound is spelled with an i.  Practice writing an i with me on your paper.  Draw a line from the fence down to the street.  Now draw a dot in right over the line in the middle between the ceiling and the fence.  Good.  Now write a few words on your sheet of paper using the /i/ sound.  Iâll give you an example: pig.  Iâll give you three minutes to come up with your own answers.

4. Raise your hand and tell me some of the words that you came up with.  Write several of their words on the board.
5. Use these words to present the word identification strategy (Eldredge, 108).  For example the word "stick."
     a. Alright, what sound do we hear in the middle of stick?  What sound have we been practicing?  The /i/ sound thatâs right.  So say that sound with me.  (/i/)
        Very good.  Write the letter i on the board.
    b. So we have /i/.  What sounds do you hear before /i/ in our word.  You hear the /s/ and the /t/ sound.  Very good.  Letâs put those two sounds together.
        (/sti/).  Very good.
    c. Now what sound do we hear at the end of our word.  Good, the /k/ sound.  Thatâs exactly right.  So does every one hear the /k/ sound at he end of our
    d. Letâs put the two parts of our word together.  We have what?  (/sti/) And what? (/k/)  So letâs put those two parts together.  We have stick.
    e. Continue this process with a few words

6. Now we are going to read Tin Man Fix-It.  Pass out the books.  You are going to read this book quietly to yourself.  Pay close attention.  Each time you come to a word with the /i/ softly say the word to yourself.  For example, I read Tin Man Fix-It.  So softly, I say to myself, (whisper very lightly!) Tin·Fix·It.  Give them a good amount of time to read the story individually.  After finishing the book, ask them what words they heard with the /i/ sound.  Write their answers on the board. (tin, fix, it, Tim, Jim, is, Sid, big, kid, zips, in, zigs, zags, hits, did, tips, kit, six, pins, hips, digs, and sip)

7. Divide them up into pairs.  Give each person in the group a word (on an index card) from the board so that they will have two words.  Have them each write their word down.  Then have them go through the steps from #5 with their partner.  Now I want you to tell your word to your partner.  And she is going to write it down.  You can use the board to help you.  All the possible words are on the board, all actual answers are one syllable.  But you have to tell you r partner the word following my steps.  First tell them the middle sound, the sound weâve been discussing today.  Now tell them the sound or sound before the /i/ sound.  Tell them to put the sounds together.  What do they have so far?  Now what sound or sounds come after the /i/ sound?  Good, now put the two parts together.  Check with your partner.  Did you get it right?  Now switch.  Repeat the process.


Eldredge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Pearson Education    Company, 1995.

Amy Chastang: Icky Sticky Insects     http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/inroads/chastangel.html

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