Icky Sticky Goo

By: Shannon Alexander
Beginning Reading



Rationale: The alphabet is like a secret code made up of phonemes, in order for students to be able to use it they must decode it and understand it. The most difficult phonemes for students to learn are the vowels. Students must learn that each phoneme has a letter correspondence that goes with it. In this lesson I will show the students the letter i=/i/. The students will learn this correspondence through meaningful representations and activities. 



  1. Plastics letters for each student
  2. Elkonin boxes for each student (up to five)
  3. Dry erase board
  4. Dry erase markers
  5. Picture of girl modeling the Icky Sticky I
  6. Letter Boxes and letters for teacher to model with
  7. Overhead projector
  8. Primary paper
  9. Pencils
  10. Pseudoword test for each student



  1. Okay guys the letter we are going to learn today is the letter I and the /i/ sound that it makes. Can everyone say the /i/ sound with me? Good job!
  2. Now show the girl modeling Icky Sticky I and ask if anyone has every gotten their hands icky sticky. Does everyone see what she is doing with her hands? Okay, when we say the /i/ sound we are going to shake our hands just like her. Show the kids the hand motion. Now lets all practice. Say iiiicky stiiiicky with me while shaking your hands. Great job!
  3. Now write a tongue twister on the board. It will say Izzy is into really icky things. Now we are going to say a tongue twister together. Every time you hear the /i/ sound, shake your hands and draw it out. I will show you first and then we will do it together. Model the tongue twister and draw out the /i/ sound in each word. Okay now all together, IIIIIzzy iiiis iiiiinto really iiiiiicky thiiiiiiings. Good job everyone.
  4. Now we will practice finding the /i/ sound in spoken words. Do you hear /i/ in run or if? Hit or bat? Sip or tap?
  5. Now pass out the Elkonin boxes and the letters to each student. Get the overhead ready so that you can model how to use the boxes for the students. First tell them that each box stands for a sound that we hear in spoken language. Then model how to spell it for them. Everyone pay attention, since it has two sounds in it then I will only use two boxes. Then show them that iii, ttt goes into two boxes since the ttt is a separate sound than the iii.
  6. Now the students can begin the letter box lesson. Read each word to the students one at a time. Start with two phoneme words and move up to five phoneme words. Walk around the room after each word to look for anyone that needs help. Read this list 2[is], 3[rip, pick, big, sap], 4[hint, lips, sped], 5[split]. This list includes review words for the kids so they can work on earlier vowels also. If a student misspells a word pronounce it as is and then say, I want you to spell (say the word).Have each kid raise their hand after they are done and then you can check them.
  7. Next take up the boxes and the letters. Now spell the words one at a time on the dry erase board and have the kids read the words back to you so you can assess them. If they have trouble with a word use cover up and show the class how to use blending to help them figure out a word they do not know.
  8. Now pass out the book Tin Man Fix It to everyone. Book Talks: In this book a boy is gardening and the Tin Man is helping him. But a boy named Sid knocks the Tin Man over and breaks him. We will have to read to see if anyone is able to fix the Tin Man. Have the students pair up. Have each student read to their partners at a level that will not disturb the class. When one partner is done then the other partner reads the book.
  9. Next have students write a message on primary paper and have them write about their favorite part of the book.



Assessment: After each student is done with their messages have each student come up to you and read some pseudowords with the correspondence /i/ for you. Tell them you want them to read some words that are made up and silly. Have them read this list [ wid, sif, gib, rin, bik, and pid]. Note their miscues.



Izzy is Icky Sticky by Jennifer Falls:


Barret Freeman, Wash Your Hands..They Are Icky Sticky!:


Murray, Bruce.  How to Teach Letterbox Lessons (reading genie website)

Phonics Readers Short Vowels: Tin Man Fix It. (1990).  Carson, CA (USA), St. Albans, Herts. (UK): Educational Insights.

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