Itty Bitty Igloo

By: Lauren Beno

Rationale -

 In order for children to be successful in phonics, reading and spelling, they need to be able to understand phonemes in spoken context. By matching letters to vocal gestures, the students are able to recognize the different phonemes in words. Because short vowels are among the hardest phonemes to identify, this lesson will focus on being able to identify /i/ (short i). They will practice a tongue twister which will include /i/ and help them draw out the sound short i makes. I will also provide a helpful hand gesture that will used when we emphasize the /i/ sound. They will distinguish which spoken words have this phoneme in it and which do not. At the end of this lesson I hope that the students have a better understanding of the /i/ sound, and become more confident in their reading and decoding when approaching words with this phoneme in it.



 Primary Paper and Pencil, construction paper and crayons, chart with the rhyme: Indiana is itchy in his itty bitty Igloo. Liz is Six (Educational Insights). Copies of picture pages with pictures of: lips, fish, bug, mint, hat, bear, witch, stick, bed.



  1. We will begin the lesson by stating that our language is like a secret code, and the hardest part in learning this secret code is understanding what these letters represent and knowing the mouth movements used for the particular sounds. Lets pretend that we are investigators, and our case to crack today is finding out what our mouth does when we pronounce /i/, and discovering /i/ sounds in all types of words.
  2. Have yall ever looked at something and said, that is really small, its itty-bitty. Can you hear the /i/ sound in itty-bitty? When you describe a small object to someone, you usually put your index finer and your thumb close together and squint your eyes saying, “It was itty-bitty”. Now lets use this gesture while saying the sound /i/ in itty-bitty.
  3. Now lets say a tongue twister to help us with this sound. Indiana is itchy in his itty-bitty igloo.” Now lets say it three times all together. Lets say it again, only this time stretch out the /i/ sounds in the beginning of the words, Iiiiiiiindiana iiiiiiiis iiiiiiiitchy iiiiiiiin his iiiiiiiiity –bitty iiiiiiiigloo. Now for the last time, lets use our finger/thumb measuring whenever we say our /i/.
  4. “ Now that we can say /i/, lets practice writing the letter /i/.” (Students take out primary paper and pencil) “We use the letter i to spell /i/. Let me show you how to write it: Start at the fence and draw a straight line to the sidewalk, then pick up your pencil and put a dot right above the line you just drew between the fence and the roof. [Model this] Now I want you to practice writing i.  While I am walking around checking your work I want you to make a whole row of i’s.  Now when you see the letter i by itself in a word you will know to say /i/.
  5. Let me show you how to find the sound /i/ in the word “thimble”. We are going to stretch out thimble in slow motion, and I want you to listen for the /i/ that we found earlier in itty-bitty. Th-th-th-i-m-m-b-l , th-i-i-i …There it is! There is the /i/ sound in thimble.
  6. Now we will see how well you listened! Do you hear /i/ in pig or dog? Walk or swim? Pink or Purple? Summer or Spring? Cliff or mound? Now hold up your hand gesture if you hear /i/ in these words: Itchy, Iggy, goes, into, old, igloos, to, improve, the, ice.
  7. “It’s Liz’s birthday pary and everyone is invited, even her animals and friends! For her birthday present she gets a baseball mitt, so they all play baseball. When Liz hits the ball, can the pig catch it? To find out we need to read on!  Now students, we are going to read Liz is Six, so pull out your books and lets see how many words we can find that have the /i/ sound in them. When we find one I want ya’ll to do your hang gesture and ill put those words on the board so we can see them. Now I want you to write me a silly story using as many /i/ sounding words as you can. (hint: you can use the words we put up on the board). Then I want you to draw a picture of your story.”
  8. For the assessment, I will give each student a picture page of different types of objects (lips, fish, bug, mint, hat, bear, witch, stick, bed) and ask them to circle the pictures that you hear the /i/ sound in.



Murray, Bruce. Reading Genie Website. “Developing Reading   Fluency.”


          “Itchy Iggy” by Jenna Ward


Liz is Siz. Educational insights

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