The Interesting Iguana


Beginning Reading
Gina Reynolds


Rationale:   The goal of this lesson is to teach the i= /i/ correspondence.  During the lesson, the children will learn that i=/i/ by teaching a meaningful representation and they will learn to identify spoken words with /i/.  Children will also learn to spell and read words with i=/i/ by teaching a letterbox lesson and reading a new book.

1. Primary paper and pencils for each child
2. Letterboxes and letters (i, s, t, n, l, p, k, f, a, e, g, m, k, and w)
3. Chart with "The interesting iguana went inside the pit filled with insects."
4. Large Elkonin letterboxes and letters for teacher
5. Copies of Liz is Six for each student (Educational Insights)
6. List of words used in letterbox lesson (2-{is}, 3-{lip, fit}, 4-{spin, swim, gift}, 5-{print})
7. Chalk
8. Handout with pictures of a fish, a twig, an inch, a kid, and a pig (also include pictures of words without the i = /i/ correspondence)

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that they are going to learn about the letter i and its corresponding sound.  "We are going to learn i = /i/.  The letter i is a vowel that we see in many words.  So far we have learned a and e.  But i is important because we find it in so many words like milk, hit, kick, and drip.  Today, we are going to learn how to spell and read words that have i = /i/."
2. Show children a gesture for remembering i = /i/.  "Have you ever gotten something really sticky on your hands, like glue?  Well, to remember the /i/ sound, I want you to make this motion with your hands.  (Model rubbing your hands together as if something is stuck on them.)  Great!”

  3. Have children direct their attention to the tongue-twister chart.  "To practice our /i/ sound, let's say a tongue-twister.  Listen first and then we’ll say it together. "The interesting iguana went inside the pit filled with insects."  Now lets say it together.  Great job!  This time, lets make our icky sticky motion when you hear /i/ and really stretch out the /i/ in each word.  The iiiinteresting iiiiguana went iiiinside the piiiit fiiiilled wiiiith iiiinsects Did everyone hear the /i/ sound?  Great!"
5. Hand out the letters and letterboxes to each student.  Words included are is, lip, fit, spin, swim, gift, and print.  Review words are lap and peg.  "Today, we are going to do a letterbox lesson using i = /i/.  Everyone turn your letters over so that only the lower case sides are showing.  Each of your boxes represents a sound in a word.  Be sure to listen so that you can hear how many boxes you will use for each word.  I will show you an example of how to spell a word.  My word has three phonemes, so I am going to use three boxes.  My word is sit and this is how I am going to spell it.  Ssssss, ok I know /s/ is s so I’m going to put the s in the first box.  Sssssiiiii, the second sound is /i/ and I know that is the i sound so I am going to put the i in the second box.   Sssssiiiiiitttt.  And I know that the /t/ sound belongs to t so I’m going to put the t in the last box.  Sssiiittt.  Sit.   Now, I am going to show you how to read a word.  Ok, I know that i says /i/ and I know that l says /l/, so lets put them together llii.  And I know that f says /f/ so lets add that.  Lliiff.  We’re almost there.  And I know that t says /t/ so lets put that on the end.  Lliifftt.  Lift"   The teacher will then start the letterbox lesson.  Start with two phoneme words and move up to five phoneme words.  After each word is spelled, the teacher should walk around the room to check each student's work.  If a student misspells a word, the teacher should pronounce the word as it appears and ask the student to fix  the word.  After the spelling of each word, the teacher writes the word on the chalkboard.
6. After spelling all of the words, have students read the words as the teacher spells them.  "After everyone has spelled all of the words, we are going to read them.  I am going to use my large letters to spell the words, and you will read them."  The teacher should pay close attention to each student to assess whether or not the child is able to read each word.  If a child cannot read a word, the teacher should use body-coda blending to facilitate reading. 
7. Hand out copies of "Liz is Six "to each student.  "Now, that all of you are expert readers and spellers we are going to read a story called Liz is Six.  This book is about Liz, a little girl who is having a birthday party.  One of her presents is a mitt.  She and her friend, a pig, play a game of softball with Liz's new mitt.  Pig hits the ball toward Liz, but can Liz catch it?  We need to read the book to find out what happens!"
8. Have students read "Liz is Six."  "Everyone is going to read the book.  While you read, I will be walking around the room to hear your reading."
9. Help the students identify the pictures on the handout.  "Everyone take out your picture handout.  Let's help one another identify the pictures that have /i/ in them."  The teacher should walk around the room and make sure each child has identified the pictures.
10. Have each student write a message while other students are being called to the teacher's desk.  "I want each of you to think about your most favorite activity.  For example, in our story, Liz enjoyed playing softball.  After you have chosen your activity, write a message."

    For assessment, each child should individually come up to the teacher's desk.  Each child should bring the picture handout.  The teacher may say, "I want you to circle all of the pictures that show words containing /i/.  Then, I want you to choose a word that you would like to write."  (Provide primary paper.)  For other assessment, the teacher could have each student individually read Liz is Six.  The teacher could take a running record of the student's miscues. 

1. Eldredge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Upper Saddle River, NJ. 1995.
2.  Icky Sticky Iguana by Andrea Williams
3. Icky Sticky!!!! by Shannon Ritter Icky Sticky Pig by Courtney Hill.
5. Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lessoon: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.
6. Liz is Six. Educational Insights, 1990.

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