Lizzy the Icky Sticky Piggy

Emergent Literacy Lesson using short i (i=/i/).

Brittany Anne Hanie


 Rationale:  Learning to read and spell are difficult and time consuming processes.  In order for children to learn to read and spell words, they need to understand phonemes.  To understand phonemes, a child must first know how to recognize a phoneme.  Children often have a difficult time recognizing short vowels. This lesson is meant to help students identify the short letter /i/.  The grapheme/phoneme correspondence for this lesson is i=/i/.  This lesson will help students become familiar with the letter /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol.  After becoming able to recognize the letter, the student will then practice finding /i/ in provided words.

- Picture of Lizzy the icky sticky piggy

-Primary paper and pencil

- Paper and crayons

- The saying: "Lizzy was a very icky sticky piggy after rolling in the garbage bin." written on a poster board.

-picture page on poster board with illustrations on it (pig, wig, hill, kit, pill, fin, cake, rock, dog, hut, egg)

-A card with Lizzy the piggy and an /i/ on it

- The short vowel /i/ book: Tin Man Fix It (Phonics Readers, Short Vowel i, Educational Insights © 1990) 


Procedures:  1. Introduce the lesson by telling the students: “Today we are going to learn about the short vowel i.  Does anyone know some sounds that the letter i can make? (Listen to their examples and compliment their efforts) Each letter has many corresponding sounds that go with it.  Our mouths can move in many different ways.  Can you move your mouth around and make some noises with your mouth? Did you hear the different sounds your mouth made when you moved it in different directions? Well, learning a particular sound for a letter can be just like that.  Let’s try to figure out when our mouths make the appropriate sound for a short i that says /i/.  Let’s try to say /i/ one time together.  Once we gain some practice with this short i says /i/ then we will be able to find the short i says /i/ in many words.  Let’s begin our adventure learning about the short i.”

2. The teacher will begin by asking: “Who knows what a pig looks like?”  The lesson will then continue as follows: “I have a friend.  Her name is Lizzy.  Lizzy is a very icky sticky pig.  She likes to roll around in the dirt and in the garbage.  Let’s imagine rolling around in the icky sticky garbage.  Now, let’s practice saying icky sticky while we are shaking off the sticky garbage.  Let’s try it a few times.  Okay, now the /i/ sound in "icky sticky" that we heard is the sound that we're going to be learning about.”

3. We will introduce the corresponding letter i’s tongue twister:  "Lizzy was a very icky sticky piggy after rolling in the garbage bin." After reading it aloud, have the class say the tongue twister in unison.  After everybody seems to have good experience sounding out the tongue twister have them say it again, but this time have them stretch out the /i/ sound in the words.  It would look and sound something like this:  "L-i-i-i-i-izzy was a very i-i-i-i-i-icky sti-i-i-i-i-i-icky pi-i-i-i-i-i-iggy after rolli-i-i-i-i-ing i-i-i-i-in the garbage bi-i-i-i-i-in."  The final time the children will say the tongue twister is when they will separate the /i/ from the other letters in each word: "L/i/z/z/y/ was a very i/c/k/y s/t/i/c/k/y/ p/i/g/g/y/ after r/o/l/l/i/n/g/ i/n/ the garbage b/i/n/."  After students have completed these tasks they should be complimented on their efforts.

4. Students will now practice writing the letter i.  With primary paper and pencils, children will write the letter i.  Explain to the students that the letter i  is used to spell /i/.  Also explain how the letter i  is used to make the icky sticky sound.  Explain to your students the process of writing a lower case i:  To make a lower case i go down from the fence, and give him a feather right above the fence.  Let’s practice this a couple of times.


5. “Now, let’s see if we can find the icky sticky sound in these words.  I would like you to raise your hand if you hear the /i/ sound in a word.  The words will be said slowly and one at a time.” (pig, leg, hit, sat, rich, bay).  After doing this exercise, prepare students for another fun exercise using the letter i.  Give the children two words and ask them to identify the i = /i/ sound in the words.  Tell them to remember the icky sticky piggy.  For example: Do you hear /i/ in let or big, no or him, win or lose, fin or house, etc.

6. Read the i letter book, Tin Man Fix It.   After reading it aloud once, read it aloud for the second time having students raise their hands when they hear words with /i/ in them.  it would be good to model this acceptable behavior by raising your hand when you hear /i/.  After reading, go back through and list the words that have short i on the board from the book.  Have each student draw a pig in the "icky sticky" garbage and write a message about it using invented spelling.  Compliment them on their efforts.

7. For assessment, give each student a picture page on poster board with different short i illustrations.  (Example: pig, wig, hill, kit, pill, fin, cake, rock, dog, hut, egg).  Help students name each picture.  Ask each student to circle the pictures whose names have /i/ in them.

Reference:   Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Learning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.  A Summary prepared by: Steven A. Stahl, Jean Osborn, and Fran Lehr.  1990.