Inside the Igloo

Mandy Coker

Beginning Reading


Rationale:  For children to have the knowledge and understanding of phonemic awareness, they must first be able to understand short vowel sounds.  This lesson will help the children to recognize the correspondence i= /i/.  The goal of the lesson is for students to learn to recognize /i/  in spoken words by learning mouth moves and gestures such as having something icky on your fingers. They will also get exposure of the letter and sound being in written words as well.



1.Liz is Six for each student

2.Primary paper for each student

3.Pencil for each student

4.Crayons for each student

5.Chart with tongue twister on it (The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo).

6.Letterboxes for each student

7.Set of oversized letters and letterboxes (teacher copy for board demonstration)

8.Plastic letters for each student (f,i,g,t,s,h,p,m,d,b,r,c,k,l,f,n)

9.Picture of “icky sticky” (child with glue on hands)

10.White paper for each student

11.Picture page with illustrations (swing, watch, brick, cup, crib, grass, pig, mask)



1."We all need to know what different letter sounds make when we are reading. We are going to learn a fun way to remember when i says /i/ in a word today so get ready.  Have you ever had glue stuck on your fingers? What sound did you make when you had glue stuck on you? Way to go! You said /i/ck! That is the sound that the short I makes.  Let’s all pretend that we have glue on our fingers.  When you try to get the glue off of your fingers you say /i/!! Let’s all try!  Way to go! One other way to remember the sound is to say the words "icky sticky" (Show picture as you are doing it).  Let’s all say it and do it together. "Icky Sticky!!" Awesome job everyone!"


 2."Let’s all look at a tongue twister and read it together.  (The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo). Good!  This time when we say it, let’s stretch out the /i/ sound, and make the 'icky sticky' hand motion.  (The i-i-i-mportant i-i-i-ndian was i-i-i-ll w i-i-i-th i-i-i-njuries i-i-i-nside the i-i-i-gloo). Good job!"     

3.Have the students tell if they hear the /i/ sound in different words.  "Do you hear /i/ in Strip or stay? Wrong or sit? Little or good?"        


4.Since we all did a great job at making the /i/ sound (do "icky sticky" with fingers), we are going to practice writing the letter i.  Everyone needs to take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil.  Watch and model what I am doing (model on the board with lines that match their paper).  We start at the fence and go down to the sidewalk.  Then, pick up your pencil and give him a dot just about the fence.  All of us need to do that five more times on your paper while I walk around the room and check your paper. 


5.Everyone needs to take out their letters and letterboxes.  Spread the letters out on your desk so that you can see each letter clearly.  (Use the model on the board so that everyone can see the boxes and the letters.) Now, we are going to spell words that have the /i/ sound in them.  Remember to put only one sound in each box.  Watch me as I spell the word fig.  F-f-f-i-i-i-g-g-g.  I like to say all of my words out loud so I can hear all of the sounds and you should do the same.  The first sound I hear in fig is /f/.    So, I am going to put the f in the first box.  What is the second sound I hear? (Do the "icky stick") Correct! I hear the /i/ sound.  So, I’ll put the i in the next box.  The last sound I hear is /g/, and so I put the g in the last box.  Let’s read our word.  F-i-g. Way to go class! We have just spelled the word fig! I am going to let you try now and see if you can spell these words that have /i/ in them.  Use your letters and letterboxes to spell these words: 2 phonemes: it. 3: ship, fit, him, dig. 4: brick, sink, cliff. 5: spring, print, crisp.  (Tell the students how many boxes they will need to use for each set of words.)  Now we are ready to practice reading and spelling our words with the /i/ sound.  Everyone needs to try their best to spell them just the way I showed you.  When you are finished, raise your hand and I will come check how well you did.

6.I will now pass out the story Liz Is Six to each student.  "We are going to read a story called Liz Is Six.  This book is about Liz, a little girl, who is having a birthday party.  One of the presents she gets is a mitt.  She and her friend, a pig, play a game of softball with her new mitt.  It is a very close game and we will have to read the book to find out who wins!" Have the students read by themselves.  If a student has a problem reading the story, tell them to raise their hand for some guidance.  When they are finished reading, ask the students what words they read that had the /i/ sound in them.  Write the words on the board. 
Assessment:  Pass out a picture page to name the pictures together.  Read the names of the pictures on the page with the class.  Tell the students to circle the pictures that have the /i/ sound.  You could keep up with their grades in the grade book.




Betbeze, Meg. Icky Sticky Fingers!. (Beginning Reading).


Murray, Bruce.  Wallach and Wallach's Tongue Twisters.


Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650. 
(1990).  Phonics Reader Short Vowel, Liz Is Six.  Carson, CA (USA): Educational Insights.

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