Isabelle is Icky Sticky!


Kathryn Nebrig

Emergent Literacy Lesson




Young readers need to be fully aware of sound correspondence and recognition especially for vowels before they can start to decode our alphabet. Every word has a vowel as its base sound, so it is important that young readers learn these sounds first and also at the same time as consonants. The correspondence i=/i/ is one that young readers can discover through many two, three, and four phoneme words. The student will learn about the letter/sound correspondence of i=/i/ in spoken words. They will think of words with this sound in it, and pick out these words among others. This activity will give students explicit exposure to the /i/ sound in multiple words.


  1. chart paper with tongue twister written on it.
  2. cut out carrots
  3. pencils
  4. bunny faces and cut outs
  5. glue stick
  6. poster with bunny picture
  7. basket for carrots
  8. Silly Willy by Maryann Cocca-Leffler
  9. writing tablets



  1. Introduce the sound by saying: ‰¥þDo you say icky when your mom gives you yucky medicine to take? The first sound in icky is the sound that we are going to learn about today. We make this icky sound by moving our nose like a bunny rabbit. Move your nose up and down like a bunny rabbit. Now say iiiiiikcy, can you feel your nose move up when you say‰¥ÿ? Now pretend that your mom is giving you a big spoonful of medicine, shake your head like you are saying no and say iiiiicky. You all look like bunny rabbits! It is important that we learn this sound because a lot of words that we will be reading have this sound in it.‰¥ÿ
  2. ‰¥þNow I have a silly tongue twister for us to say. I will say it first and you say it with me the second time as we read along on this chart. ‰¥þIsabelle hippity hopped past the icky sticky pit.‰¥ÿ Let‰¥ús say it again. This time let‰¥ús say the /i/ sound very slowly and shake our heads no as we say the sound. Let‰¥ús think about taking some icky medicine when we say the /i/ sound.‰¥ÿ
  3.  ‰¥þHow did I know that the /i/ sound in ‰¥þicky‰¥ÿ is in the name Isabelle?  I have to take my time saying Isabelle. The first thing I do when I say it is move my nose like a bunny. You try, Iiiisabelle. Let‰¥ús try hippity. Say it with me, Hiiiippiiiity, did you feel your nose move when you said the /i/ sound?‰¥ÿ
  4. ‰¥þNow I am going to change Isabelle the bunny‰¥ús name, and I want you to listen for her new name and if I say a name that has the /i/ sound I want you to show me your bunny nose, if I say a name that does not have the /i/ sound I want you to show me bunny ears. How about‰¥Ï Amy? Dan? Mick? John? Kindel? Kimi? Jake? Nick? Steve?‰¥ÿ
  5. ‰¥þNow I need everyone to take out their writing tablets and their pencils. We are going to practice writing the letter i. I am going to take my pencil and start at the fence and drag my line down to the sidewalk. This line will have an imaginary hoop at the top. Now I am going to draw a dot for my basketball that will fall into the hoop on top of the post. Now you all try with me. Start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk. Next draw your basketball. Now you all try to draw five more I‰¥ús.‰¥ÿ
  6. Draw attention to the bunny picture on the board. ‰¥þDo you see this bunny picture? This bunny needs some carrots to eat! I want us each to think of a word that has the /i/ sound in it and write it on these carrots that I will give you. I want you to write and spell the best way you know how to and you may also use one of the words we learned today with the /i/ sound. You can even make up a word if you want to, just spell it the best way you know how. ‰¥Ï

Ok now I want us all to bring up our carrots one at a time and put the in the basket for the bunny so that he can eat our carrots! Tell us the word that you wrote when you bring up the carrot. We will all say the word after you so that we can see if we make bunny faces when we say the /i/ sound.‰¥ÿ ‰¥ãHand out carrots and pencils. Let them use invented spelling. The whole class should say the word that the student has written after the student has said the word. If a student has written a word that does not have the /i/ sound in it, explain that you do not make a bunny face in this word, and all think of another word that the student could use.

  1.  Read Silly Willy and stretch out the /i/ sound. After the book is over, ask students what other words they heard with the /i/ sound.
  2. Assessment:

Hand out the handout with just a plain circle on it. Hand out cut outs of bunny ears, whiskers, and bunny noses to each child. ‰¥þI am going to read this tongue twister again. Each time that I say the /i/ sound, I want you to place a piece of the bunny on the bunny face. When we get done we are going to glue down the faces and we will have a bunny!‰¥ÿ Read the tongue twister very slowly, pointing to each word as you read. The student will place a piece of bunny on the paper for each sound they hear. They should have six pieces on the bunny when you are done reading. Hand out glue sticks so that the student can glue down the pieces to the bunny face. This will assess the student by seeing if they can hear all of the /i/ sounds. Each student will have their own work, so that the teacher can assess them separately. If they do not have the right amount of bunny pieces at the end, they may have more or less, then they have not learned and heard the right sounds for /i/.



Resources: (teaching short i sounds and resources to use after the lesson)

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