The Icky Sticky Ice Cream Cone

ice cream

Beginning Reading Lesson

Holly Vanhooser



Rationale: In order for students to be successful readers, it is important that they are phonemically aware. To be phonemically aware, they must have an understanding of all of the short vowel sounds. This lesson focuses on i = /i/ in spoken and written words. Students will learn this sound by practicing it in fun tongue twisters, listening to it in various words and by remembering a representative picture.



-Tin Man Fix It decodable book for each student

-poster of the "Sticky Icky I" picture (a kid holding an ice cream cone with melted ice cream --on their hands

-Chart with tongue twister on it: "Iggy Inchworm inches into an igloo."

-plastic letter tiles for each student: letters

-4 letter boxes for each student

-letters needed for each student: i, s, t, a, l, c, k, d, g, r, d, n, p

-primary paper


-assessment worksheet



1. "Good morning boys and girls. Lately we have been talking about short vowels. Today we are going to learn about the vowel i and how in some words i = /i/. Let's look at our picture that is hanging up here on the board. What is this a picture of? (someone holding an ice cream cone) That's right! This is a picture of someone holding and ice cream cone, but it looks like their ice cream has melted and has gotten all over their hands. Have you ever eaten an ice cream cone and had it melt and run down onto your hands? I know I have and when that happens I shake my hands and say "sticky-icky". Can you say that with me while you shake your hands off? (Demonstrate for the students how to put out your hands and shake.) Good. Now let's try it again but this time I want us to stretch out the /i/ sound when we hear it. Let me show you. Stiiiiiiicky-iiiiiicky. Now you try with me. Good job!


2.Now let's look at this tongue twister that is written on the poster. I will read it once and then I want you to try. "Iggy Inchworm inches into an igloo." Now you try it. (give students time to respond). Good. Now I want you to read it again with me and everytime you hear the /i/ sound I want you to stretch it out like we did with "stiiiiicky-iiiicky". "Iiiiiigy iiiinchworm iiiiinches iiiiinto an iiiiiigloo." Wow you guys did great!

3.Now we are going to listen to different words and see if we can find the /i/ sound. I will say two words and I would like you to tell me which one has the /i/ sound in it. I will model one first. The two words are sick and stuck. When I say the word sick I hear s-iiiiii-ck. When I say the word stuck I hear s-t-uuu-ck. I hear /i/ in sick. Now I am going to let you all do a few. When you hear the /i/ sound I want you to shake your hands out in front of you. Do you hear the /i/ sound in seat or sit? (sit) What about in the words dig or rug? (dig). How about in his or hers? (his). Good job. I like how you all used your sticky-icky hands to pick out the /i/ sound.


4.Now we are all going to use our letterboxes to practice how to spell words using the /i/ sound. I will pass out four letterboxes to each student along with plastic letter tiles. I am going to demonstrate how to spell a word using our letter boxes. Remember that each sound that you say represents a different box. The first word that I am going to spell is fish. First, I am going to stretch the word out so I will know how many letter boxes I will need. FFFF iiiii shhhh. Okay, I counted three different sounds so I will need three letterboxes. The first sound I heard was ffff, and I know that f makes the ffff sound so I am going to put f in the first box. Then I heard the sound /i/. I remember from our lesson today that i = /i/ so I am going to put i in the second box. So far I have fff-iii, next is the shhhhh sound. Sh makes the shhh sound, so I am going to put sh in the last box. Now let's read what we have in our boxes. fff-iii-shh, fish.


5.After modeling how to spell a word that contains the "short i" sound, we will do a group lesson with the whole class. It is important to have review words in the list also to make sure that the students are actually decoding words and not just memorizing them. Letterbox lesson words: 2-(is, it, at) 3- (lick, sad, sit) 4-(grid, skin, snip, list) 

            letters needed: i, s, t, a, l, c, k, d, g, r, d, n, p







6.I am going to show you a list of words and I want you to read them out to me. This is going to give us some practice before we read our book.


7.Now I want everyone to get our their book Tin Man Fix It. This book is on the letter i just like we have been working on. Give a book talk before the children read the book.  "One day a young boy and his friend are working outside in the garden when a kid named Sid rushes by on his skateboard, knocking into Tin Man.  Tin Man breaks into a bunch of little pieces. Do you think the Tin Man Fix It will be able to put himself back together and finish his work outside? Read the book to find out." The students will divide up into pairs and read to each other. I will be walking around the room to ensure that each student is reading.


8.Once the students finish reading the book with their partner I will have them write a message. "Once you finish reading with your partner I want you to write about your favorite thing to do when you are with your friends."

9.To assess the students I will give them a worksheet that provides a picture with scrambled letters out to the side. The students will be instructed to unscramble the letters and spell the word of the picture.  They will turn this in at the end of class.




Drews, Julia. Sticky Icky Issues.



Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie.


Tin Man Fix It. Educational Insights. 1990.


Williams, Lindsay. Don't Lick That Sticky Stuff!!   


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