Christie R. Davis
Design:  Beginning Reading


Icky Sticky Inchworm

Rationale: This lesson is designed to help children learn to read and spell words.  They will learn to recognize i=/i/ in written words.  They will learn a meaningful representation and then practice spelling and reading words with i=/i/ using a letterbox lesson.

Materials: Chart with “Icky Sticky Inchworm”; Tin Man Fix It (Educational Insights); list of words to use in letterbox lesson (3-phoneme tin, dip, fit, win, fix; 4-phoneme zips, slim, wind, mint); list of words to use assessment (3-phoneme sit, fin, did, big; 4-phoneme tips, pins, list, risk); Letterboxes, letters laminated and cut out to use in letterbox lesson.

 1.  First, introduce the correspondence i=/i/ by saying the meaningful representation, “Icky Sticky Inchworm”.  Show the student how to say the i in each word like a machine gun would go off.  For example, “I-I-Iky-i-cky I-I-Ichworm”.  Have the student repeat this with you.  We are going to learn how to spell and read words with /i/ in them.  Review with the child how to spell “big”, then help the child read the word.

 2.  Next, the letters that you need to spell the words in the letterbox lesson out for the child to choose from.  Lay 3 letterboxes attached together down so the child can spell the three phoneme words you give him/her.  After completing the three phoneme words use the same steps to do the four phoneme words.

 3.  Now, put the letterboxes away and spell the words for the child asking him/her to read the words from the letterbox lesson to you.

 4.  Give the child the book, Tin Man Fix-it and ask him/her to read it  to you.  It is important that you allow the child to hold the book while they are reading.  As they read, take a running record of the word the child misses so that so that you will know which correspondences to teach next time.

 5.  For assessment, have the child spell different words from the letterbox lesson.  After the child has completed both the three and four phoneme words spell the words out on the table and ask the child to read them.  It is important that you don’t ask the child to read what he/she spells because you would’ve just spoken the word so they know how to read it.  This assessment will allow you to see if the child has mastered the concept of i=/i/.


 ~Eldridge, J. Lloyd, Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.  1995.  pg. 53.
 ~Murray, B.A., & Lesniak, T (1999).  The letterbox lesson:  A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.