Itchy Izzy’s Igloo
igloo picture
Emergent Literacy Plan
Maggie Saye

Rationale: Students must learn how to identify letters with their vocal gestures and sounds before being able to become readers (phonemic awareness). Short vowels are very hard for students to learn and are arguably some of the most important correspondences for children to master. They appear often in their readings and must be mastered before long vowels and irregular correspondences are taught. By learning that short I says /i/, (i=/i/), students will be able to read short i words with more accuracy and those words will eventually become part of their sight vocabulary. Students will learn how to identify the short I sound in words by learning a visual and oral representation of the sound, identifying this sound in spoken words provided by the teacher after a word is modeled for them and will practice how to identify the short I sound in written words by creating their own word for a block of ice in our igloo and by completing a practice worksheet.

Materials: blue butcher paper with i=/i/ written on it and a drawing of Izzy scratching her arm with the word itch written beside her, chart with tongue twister displayed on it (“Izzy itched while inching over to her igloo”), large poster picture of Izzy next to her igloo and individual copies of this picture for each student, blue construction paper, black markers, tape, pencils, dry erase board, dry erase markers, and copies for each student of a picture worksheet in which they decide if the word represented by the picture has the short vowel I in it.

1. First, I will explain to the students that words are made up of letters. These letters create different sounds and when put together, create words. Learning the sound that each letter stands for is important because they help us to become good readers. I will explain, “One sound that can be found in words is /i/. The sound /i/ is made by the letter I when it is a short vowel. Today we will be learning about the letter I and how to recognize words in which the letter I makes the /i/ sound (i=/i/). After we can recognize I as /i/ in spoken words, we will learn how to read I=/i/ in written word through a book.”
2. I will say to students, “We can hear the /i/ sound in lots of words. One way I remember the /i/ sound is when I’m itchy. See the little girl in this picture? (Point to blue butcher paper with Iggy scratching her arm on it) Her name is Izzy. Everyone calls her Itchy Izzy because she is always scratching her arm. Can you all scratch your arm and say ‘/i/, /i/, /i/!’? Good! What is the first sound we hear in the word itchy? (Wait for student response.) That’s right, /i/! Now every time we hear /i/ in a word today I want us all to scratch our arm and say ‘/i/, /i/, /i/!’ Because itchy begins with the sound /i/, scratching our arm like we are itchy will help us remember what /i/ sounds like. If you need help remembering the sound the letter I makes, look at Itchy Izzy on the board and she will remind you. Now, let's review how we write the letter I. First, you give him a straight back. Then, give him a headdress and his moccasins. After you have done that, you have your I that says /i/!”
3. I will say to students, “Now, we are going to say the tongue twister on this chart. (I will hold the chart up in front of the class.) Every time you hear /i/ I want you to scratch your arm and say ‘/i/, /i/, /i/’. I’ll say it once first and then we will say it together adding the /i/’s. The tongue twister is ‘Izzy itched while inching over to her igloo.’ Now, let’s do it together: ‘Izzy (/i/, /i/, /i/) itched (/i/, /i/, /i/) while inching (/i/, /i/, /i/) over to her igloo (/i/, /i/, /i/).’”
4. I will say to students, “We found the /i/ sound in igloo by listening to the word and noticing that it was the beginning sound of the word. Lets try to find the /i/ sound in words where it isn’t the first word. I’ll show you how I find it in a word and then you will get to try one too. I find /i/ in the word thick by saying it very slowly and listening for the itchy /i/ sound.” (I will write all the following words and how I sound them out on the dry erase board with dry erase markers.) “Thick…th-iiiiiiiii-ck. There it was! Th-iii, I hear the itchy /i/ sound right after the ‘th’ in the word thick. Now let’s try a few together. Raise your hand if you can tell me where the /i/ sound is in mix. (Wait for student response and go over.) What about the word lick? (Wait for student response and go over.) (This will continue for about 10 other words.) Very good. Now raise your hand and tell me which of two words I say have the /i/ sound in them. Do you hear /i/ in in or out? Fat or thin? Inch or Foot? Wig or Hair? Snake or Lizard? Good, I think you have an idea of how to do this with spoken words now, so let’s look at /i/ words in written language by reading a book.”
5. I will read the class the book Tin Man Fix It. This book focuses on short I (i=/i/). Before reading the book I will introduce it with a brief booktalk: "There is a tinman named Tim. He's working with Jim in the garden when Sid comes by and knocks him over! Tim falls apart! Do you think that Jim can fix him? We will have to read to find out!" After the booktalk, I will tell the students to remember words with the itchy /i/ sound for an activity we will do after the book. I will then read the book and students will raise their arm and scratch every time we run into a short I word. We will discuss the story before flipping each page so students won’t focus only on the /i/ words but also become involved in the story.
6. After reading the story, I will hand out the sheet with Itchy Izzy standing by her igloo. We will discuss that igloo is also an /i/ word. I will tell the students that we are going to make our own igloo for Itchy Izzy, but will first brainstorm a list of itchy /i/ words on our sheets and the poster on the board. I will allow students to raise their hand and offer up /i/ words from the text or other /i/ words. I will add these words to our poster on the board while the students write them on their individual copies. I will have about 10 blocks of ice on our igloo, so we will have listed about 10 /i/ words.
7. After completing our brainstorming igloo, I will pass out one piece of blue construction paper and black marker per student and a pack of colored markers per table. I will ask the students to write their name on the back and then think of a good itchy /i/ word to put on our own class igloo. They will have about ten minutes to come up with a word. I will tell the students to write their word largely in the center of their block of ice (construction paper). After they have written their word, they will have another 10 minutes to draw pictures to represent their word on their block of ice and color them in.
8. When every student has completed their block of ice, we will bring our blocks of ice to the front of the room and assemble them with tape into a flat igloo. When our igloo is completely taped together, we will label it Izzy’s Itchy Igloo and hang it in the room.
9. Students will be given a picture worksheet from Enchanted Learning in which they must identify the pictures that represent words with the /i/ sound. I will go over the worksheet with them and we will verify as a class the word each picture represents. I will model the first picture for them. They will then complete the worksheet individually and turn them in to me when it is completed.
10. I will assess students by their individual picture worksheet because they will be doing these without any outside help. I will be able to see that students understand how to identify words with the short I vowel if they are able to correctly identify a picture that represents a short I word.   
1. Enchanted Learning, Short I Theme Page,
2. “Icky I” by Frazier Montiel, .
3. Cushman, Sheila. Tin Man Fix It. Educational Insights. Carson, CA:  1990

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