Silly Siggy
Beginning Reading

 Emily Irvin

 Rationale:  An understanding of the alphabetic principle, letter-sound relationships, is essential in learning to read and write. Teaching children these letter-sound relationships helps them to decode words and ultimately to read fluently. Children must learn short vowel correspondences, and these are usually a good place to start learning letter-sound relations. This lesson focuses on i=/i/. I will teach a memorable gesture, model how to identify /i/ in spoken words, and have the children practice themselves. I will also use a letter box lesson focusing on i=/i/ so children can practice reading and spelling words with that correspondence. Lastly they will read a new book.





1. Introduce the lesson by telling the students that they are going to learn about the letter i and how it says /i/.  "You have already learned the vowels a and e and today we are going to learn another vowel, i. Letter i can say /i/ like in the words: kid, sit, and lip.

2. Demonstrate the memorable gesture for i=/i/. “Have you ever gotten something sticky on your hands like glue or mud? When I get something sticky on me I go like this.” (Model flapping hands up and down as if trying to get something off.) “This is the way to remember the /i/ sound. I want everyone to try and say the /i/ sound. Good job!”

3. To practice finding /i/ in spoken words, I will first model how to with a word.  "To find the /i/ sound in a word we have to stretch the word out. I will do one first—the word sick. (I will model this for them). Let me stretch it out…ssssiiiiick, siiiiiiiiick, there I found the /i/ in sick. Did you the hear the /i/ in sick? Now I want you to try a few. Do you hear /i/ in lip or mouth? Run or kick? Sit or stand? Good job!

4. Point to the chart. “Now we are going to say a silly sentence and I want you to make the hand motion when you hear the /i/ in words.” I will say the sentence: “Silly Siggy slips in the icky sticky mud.” “Okay, now I want you to say it. Good! This time lets say it and stretch out the /i/ sounds and make the motions to help us. Siiiiiiiilly Siiiiiiiiggy sliiiiipes in the iiiiiicky stiiiiicky mud. Great job finding the /i/ in words!

5. Distribute the letters and letterboxes to each student.  LB words are it, sip, pig, hip, twig, and swift.  Review words are sat and fed.  "Class, we are going to do a letterbox lesson with i = /i/.  Make sure that only the lower-case side of the letters are showing. Remember that each box represents a sound (phoneme). I will show you an example of how to spell a word. This word has 3 sounds (phonemes) so I will use 3 boxes. “Let me stretch the word out. Hhhiiittt. The first sound I hear is /h/ so I will put an h in the first letter box. Then I hear /i/ which is represented by the letter i so that will go in my second letter box. The third sound I hear is /t/ which is represented by t so that goes in my last letter box. (I will model how to spell lip by sounding out each of the phonemes and placing the appropriate letters in the letterboxes.)  “Now, this is how you will read a word.”  (Model how to read hit using vowel-first blending.  The letter i says /i/. The letter h says /h/ so I will add /h/.  Lastly, I will add the /t/ to make "hit.")  We would then go on to the LBL starting with the words with the smallest number of phonemes to the largest number. The teacher will walk around to observe the students words and if any are spelled incorrectly will say the word as is spelled to try to get the student to correct it. If they still do not get it the teacher will model the word on his/her set of letterboxes.

6. After all of the words have been spelled, the teacher will spell the words and have the students read them.  "You all did a great job spelling and now I want you to read the words to me as I spell them” If any students are having trouble reading the words the teacher should try vowel-first blending to scaffold the students. 

7. Distribute the book Liz is Six to each student.  "Today, we are going to read Liz is Six.” Give a brief book talk. “This is Liz and she is turning six today. She has a birthday party and invites all her friends. One of her friends even gives her a baseball mitt. They decide to play ball. Is Liz going to catch the ball and get a hit? You will have to read Liz is Six to find out!

8. Students will read Liz is Six.  "I want everyone to find out what happens to Liz.  You read and I will walk around in case you need my help. I want to hear you reading!”

9. I will distribute the picture hand-outs and the class will identify all of the objects on the page. “Can everyone tell me what these objects are? Let’s go through them together? Good. Now I want you to circle the pictures that you hear the /i/ sound in their name.” Walk around to make sure the students are on track.

10. “Now I want you to write a message. I would like you to tell me about your favorite hobby, which is something you do a lot.” Students will us primary pencil and paper to write their messages.

10. Assessment:  For assessment, the students will read Liz is Six individually and the teacher will note miscues. 



1. Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lessoon: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

2. “Icky Sticky Iguana” by Andrea Williams

3. Liz is Six. Educational Insights, 1990.


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