Sticky Icky Issues

Beginning Reading Lesson Design

Julia Drews



In order for students to be successful readers they first must understand that each letter of the alphabet represents different sounds.  Once students learn more about the letter- sound correspondences, they can become more fluent readers and decoders.  Short vowels are usually more difficult for children to pick up on because the sound does not match the letter.  Today, I am going to teach the correspondence i=/i/ by using letterboxes, tongue twisters, and whole text reading.  This will help students to also spell and recognize words with the "short i" (/i/). 



Chart with tongue twister: The Indian and the iguana were inside the igloo.

Poster with "sticky- icky" picture on it (child with glue on their hands)

Letterboxes for each student

Large magnetic letterboxes for teacher

Copies of Tin Man Fix It

Primary Paper


Letters for letterbox lesson: i, s, a, t, n, l, v, e, p, g, c, h, m, r, b




1."Good morning class, today we are going to explore the letter i.  The letter i makes the sound /i/.  Have you ever gotten something sticky on your hands such as glue or candy?  The child in this picture looks like they have something sticky on their hands.  Whenever I have something sticky on my hands I shake them in front of me like this, and say sticky- icky. (Demonstrate for the students how to put out your hands and shake) Can everyone try that with me? Sticky Icky.  Good, now let's try it again but this time I want us to stretch out the /i/ sound.  Let me show you. Stiiiiicky- iiiiiiicky. Now you try it with me. Good job!"

2."Okay, now lets try and say our tongue twister with our /i/ sound.  I'll say it first and then we will try it together.  The Indian and the iguana were inside the igloo.  Now you try it with me. Good! This time lets try and stretch out our /i/ sound.  I'll say it first again and then you try it with me.  The Iiiiindian and the iiiiiguana were iiiiiinside the iiiiiigloo.  Okay, now try it with me. Great!"

3."Okay, now lets try and find the /i/ sound in some words we say.  I will say two words and I would like you to tell me which one has the /i/ sound in it.  If it helps you can shake your hands when you hear the /i/ sound.  Do you hear /i/ in stick or stuck? In seat or sit? In dig or rug? Good job, and I like you all using your sticky- icky hand motion."

4."Now we are all going to use our letterboxes to spell some words."  I will pass out five letterboxes to each students, as well as pre- selected plastic letter tiles.  "I am going to demonstrate how to spell a word using our letterboxes.  Now remember, each box stands for a different sound that our mouth makes.  The first word that I am going to spell is fish.  First I would like to stretch it out to see how many sounds it has.  Fffff iiiii shhhh.  Okay I counted three sounds so I will use three letterboxes to spell the word.  The first sound I hear in fish is ffff, so I put a f in the first box.  The second sound I hear is iiiiii.  Oh wait. That's our sticky- icky sound! I am going to find my i and put it in the second box.  The last sound I hear is shhhhhh, I am going to find the letters s and h and put them in the last letterbox.  That spells fish!"

5.After modeling how to spell a word that contains the "short i" sound, we will do a group letterbox lesson with the whole class.  It is important to have review words in the list also to make sure that the students are decoding and not just repeating.  Letterbox lesson word list: 2-[is, at, in] 3-[live, pig, chip, nap] 4- [slim, last] 5- [print, blast]  I will say the list of words one at a time while also walking around the room, observing all the students and how they are spelling with their letterboxes.   

6.After the letterbox lesson distribute a copy of Tin Man Fix It to each student.  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. Read the book to find out if he gets put back together and finishes his work outside."  I will walk around to make sure that each child is reading. 

7.Once the children finish reading the book I will have them write a message.  "Okay class, I would like you to write about your favorite thing to do outside" 

8.To assess the students I will give them a worksheet that gives them a picture and next to it are some scrambled letters.  The students will have to pick out the letters they need to give the word of the picture. 



Murray, Bruce.  The Reading Genie


Whitcomb, Amy.


Freeman, Barret.


Tin Man Fix It. Educational Insights. 1990.



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