Icky Sticky Piggy

Emergent Literacy Lesson using short i (i=/i/).

By: Emily Watts


  Rationale:  In order for children to learn to read and spell words, they need to understand that letters stand for phonemes so that spellings map out the phoneme sequence in spoken words.  Before children can learn correspondences, they have to recognize phonemes.  Short vowels are the toughest to identify because the differences in sound and mouth shape are so subtle.  This lesson will help students identify /i/ (short i).  The grapheme/ phoneme correspondence for this lesson is i=/i/.  Students will learn to recognize /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then they will practice finding /i/ in words.

-primary paper and pencil

- Picture of an icky sticky pig

- Primary paper with "Izzy the piggy rolled in icky sticky syrup."
-class set of cards with i and a picture of a pig on one side and a question mark (?) on the other

- White paper and crayons

- If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff (Harper Collins)

- Poster of illustrations of a pig, wig, hill, kit, pill, fin, cake, rock, dog, hut, egg


Procedures:  1. Introduce the lesson by telling the students that "writing is a "secret code".  What's hard is that each letter has a sound that goes with it.  Our mouth moves in different ways so that the right sounds will come out of them to say words.  Today we're going figure how to make the sound that a short i makes which is /i/.  Once we know how to make the sound with our mouths, we'll be able to spot /i/ in any word.   Today we are going to be detectives and find out when our mouth makes the short i sound.  We will also be looking for words with a short i sound when we read."

2. Ask students:  "Can anyone show me what a pig's nose looks like?"  The teacher will model for the children what a pig's nose looks like by using her fingers to push the tip of her nose up so that it resembles a pig.  "Very good children." Then the teacher will ask the children to imagine a pig rolling around in syrup that is "icky sticky."   Now the teacher will tell the children,   "pretend you are covered in "icky sticky" syrup.  Now practice saying "icky sticky" as you try and shake off the syrup.  As you practice saying "icky sticky" pay attention to how your nose looks like a pigs nose when you say /i/.    The /i/ sound in "icky sticky" is the sound that we're going to try and spot in words. 

3. Let's try a tongue twister (on primary paper).  "Izzy the piggy rolled in icky sticky syrup."  Everybody say it together.  Now say it again, but this time, try to stretch out the /i/ in each of the words.  "I-I-I-Izzy the pi-i-i-iggy rolled i-i-i-in i-i-i-icky sti-i-i-icky syrup."  This time, I want you to say it again and separate /i/ from the other letters in each word: "/i/ /z/ /z/ /y/ the /p/ /i/ /g/ /g/ /y/ rolled /i/ /n/  /i/ /c/ /k/ /y/  /s/ /t/ /i/ /c/ /k/ /y/  syrup."  Great job!  This sentence will be written on primary paper so that the students can have a visual.  Then ask the students to point out the words with the short i sound.

4. Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  We can use the letter i to spell /i/.  We use the letter i to make the icky sticky sound.  Now let's practice writing!  To make a lower case i go down from the fence, and give him a feather right above the fence.  If I come around to you and make the "icky sticky" sound /i/ I want you to fill up a whole line on your paper with the lowercase letter i.  


5. Now I want to see if you guys can find the icky sticky sound in the words that I say.  Hand out cards that have a pig on one side and a question mark on the other side to each student.   If you hear the /i/ sound, then I want you to hold up the picture of the pig that has /i/ written below it.  If you do not hear the /i/ sound then you should hold up the side of the card that has the question mark (?) on it.  Let's see if you can make your mouth say the "icky sticky" sound.   Give the words slowly and one at a time. (pig, cop, mit, hat, rich, nut).  Now we will do another fun lesson to see if you can identify the "icky sticky" /i/ sound.  I will read two words and I want you to tell me which word you hear the "icky sticky" sound /i/ in.  Do you hear /i/ in small or big, kit or bad, him or her, and fin or tail.

6. Read If You Give A Pig A Pancake and have the students raise their hands whey they hear words with /i/ in them.  First read a sentence and model raising your hand when you hear /i/.  List the words that have short i on the board from the book.  Have each student draw a pig in "icky sticky" syrup and write a message about it using invented spelling.  Display their work.

7. For assessment, give each student a picture page on poster board with different short i illustrations (pig, wig, hill, kit, pill, fin, cake, rock, dog, hut, egg).  Help students name each picture.  Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /i/ in them.

Reference:   Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Learning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.  A Summary prepared by: Steven A. Stahl, Jean Osborn, and Fran Lehr.  1990.



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