Rationale: An understanding of short vowels is very important in the development of phonemic
awareness. An understanding of short vowel sounds is necessary for a child to become
successful in reading. This lesson is designed to help students gain an understanding of the
correspondence i=/i/. The lesson illustrates the correspondence by using memorable techniques
used in showing them /i/ in spoken and written words.
primary paper and pencils for each students
elkonin boxes and letters (i,f,s,b,g,h,m,t,p,l,s,w,c,r)
chart with tongue twister ăIggy the Iguana lives inside an igloo.ä
dry-erase board with marker
oversized elkonin letterboxes and letters for teacher
list of words used in letterbox lesson 2- if , is 3- big, him, tip; 4- list, limp, fist; 5- twist, crisp
handout with pictures of pig, chicken, dog, wig, mittens, cat, iguana
class set of Tin Man Fix-It book
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to students that in reading it is important to know the
sounds that each individual letter makes. Go on to explain that we see these sounds and letters
in words. ăToday we are going to learn an exciting way to remember the sound the letter i makes
in a word. Has anyone ever eaten a popsicle and noticed when they were finished that their
hands were sticky? Most likely you did not like the way that felt on your hands and you may
have said ăIIICKä. This is the sound the short i makes. Letâs all pretend we have just eaten a
popsicle and we notice our hands are sticky. As you pretend you have just discovered a sticky
mess, remember to say ăIICKä when you notice the stickiness on your hands. Saying the phrase
ăicky stickyä may help you to remember that he short i makes the sound /i/ like in the words icky
2. ăNow, we are all going to look at this tongue twister. We are going to read it together. (Iggy
the Iguana lives inside an igloo.) Great! Now, we are going to say it again and when you hear
the short i sound, I want you to pretend that you have just discovered something sticky on your
hands like we did a few minutes ago. When you notice the /i/ in the tounge twister, I want you to
stretch the /i/ out. For example, if i said the word ÎIndiansâ I would say ăiiiiiiindians.ä Letâs all
say it together. (IIIggy the IIIIguana liiiiives iiiiinside an iiiiigloo.) Good.ä
3. Have the students to listen to a set of words and tell which word contains the /i/. Do you hear
/i/ in pig or bag? sit or sat? set or sip?
4. Now that we have all learned the sound short i makes, we are going to learn how to write the
letter i. Everyone needs to have a piece of handwriting paper and a pencil. I want everyone to
watch as I model on the board how to write the letter Îiâ. We start at the fence and go down to
the sidewalk. Pick up your pencil and give him a dot just above the fence. As I walk around, I
want everyone to write 10 iâs on their paper.
5. Now, have the students do a letterbox lesson. Instruct the students to get out their letterboxes
and letters. Remind them to spread out the letters so they can see all of them. Have the teacher
set of letterboxes and letters placed where all the students can see it. ă We are going to learn
how to spell words that contain /i/. Each of your boxes will only have one sound. Watch as I
spell the word Îsitâ. It may help you to say the word slowly as you spell it so you can hear all the
sounds. What is the first sound you hear in Îsitâ ? /s/ is right. So I place the first letter s in the
first box. What sound do you hear next in Îsitâ? /i/ is correct. (have them pretend their hands are
sticky as they say /i/.) Notice, I place the i in the second box because it is the second sound in
the word Îsitâ. What is the next sound you hear in Îsitâ? Good, /t/ is right. Now, I put the t in the
third box because it is the third sound. Letâs read our word all together. You have just learned
how to spell the word sit. Letâs see if you can spell words that contain /i/.ä Have the students
use their letterboxes and letters to spell the following words- 3- big, him, tip; 4- list, limp, fist; 5-
twist, crisp. Be sure and tell the students how many boxes they will need for each word.
6. Now, we are going to practice reading /i/. We are going to read the story Tin Man Fix-It.
Give them a breif summary of the story. ăThis book is about Tim, a tin man who is helping
his friend Jim plant a garden. Sid, the big kid, comes by on his skateboard and runs into Tim,
making him fall apart. To find out if they can put Tim back together, youâre going to have to read.ä
Have the students read silently. Tell them that if they come across a problem to raise their hand and
wait for you to come assist them. When they have completed the reading, ask them to identify some
of they words they read that contain /i/. Write these words on the board for the students to see.
Have the students read the words as you point to them on the board. Remind them to stretch out
in each word.
7. For assessment, pass out a handout that has pictures of items that contain /i/ and some pictures
that do not. As a class, go over the pictures. Have the children pronounce each picture, making sure they say it correctly. Have the students circle the items they think contain /i/. When students have completed the handout, go over it and discuss the items that contain /i/.
Melton, Shealy. This Glue is Sticky! http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/connect/meltonbr.html
Murray, B. A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for
teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.
(1990). Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Tin Man Fix-It. Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.
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