Iiicky, Stiicky, I

glue hand

Emergent Literacy

Jessi Hodge



It is important for beginning readers to recognize that letters are a map of the phonemes in spoken words. This lesson is designed to teach students how to recognize, spell, and read words that contain the i=/i/ correspondence. Students will learn this correspondence through representation, as well as practice with both written and spoken words containing the i=/i/ correspondence.




  1.  Display the poster and sentence strip for the class to see and ask the students, “Can anyone tell me what this is a picture of? It looks like this person has icky, sticky glue all over their hands! Everyone say icky, sticky with me and we are going to pretend like we have something sticky on our hands, like this.” (pretend to shake the sticky glue off of your hands) “Now we are going to do the same thing again, except stretch out the /i/ sound. Ready?”
  2. “The letter (I,i) makes the icky, sticky /i/ sound. I want you all to say this tongue twister with me and listen to all the /i/ sounds you make.  The Indian inside the igloo is interesting. Let’s say it one more time, this time stretch out all the /i/ sounds you hear and don’t forget to make our icky, sticky hand motion. The Iiiindian iiiinside the iiiigloo iiiis iiiinteresting.  Great Job!”
  3. Give each child a set of Elkonin boxes and letters. Model how to spell words with the i=/i/ correspondence. “I’m going to spell the first one for you to show you how to do it. The first word is sit. I’m going to stretch the word out in my mouth so I can hear all the different sounds, /ssss//iiii//tttt/. The first sound I hear is the /s/ sound, so I will put the letter s here in the first box. /ssss//iiii//tttt/, I think I hear our icky, sticky, /i/ sound next, so I will put the letter i in our second box. /ssss//iiii//tttt/, I hear the /t/ sound at the end of the word, so I will put the letter t in the last box. There, now I think I have all the sounds represented, but we need to make sure, /ssss//iiii//tttt/. Yes, that’s how you spell sit! Let’s see if you can do some by yourself.”
  4. Begin the letterbox lesson. Give students one word to spell at a time while the teacher walks around the room, checking students’ progress. If a student spells a word incorrectly, the teacher should read the word the way the student spelled it and ask them to try again. Then, move on the next word when all students have the correct spelling. (LBL word list: 2 phonemes—{is, in, at}, 3 phonemes—{lid, him, hit, rip, pen}, 4 phonemes—{slim, fist, print}) Once all the words have been spelled by the students, write the words on the board, one at a time, and ask students to read them aloud altogether.  After letterbox lesson is finished, take up all the materials used during the activity.
  5. Partner two students up and pass out a copy of Tin Man Fix It to each pair. Give a booktalk about the book to spark the student’s interest.  “This book is about a young boy and his Tin Man friend.  They are planting a garden. While they are planting the garden, another boy zooms by on a skateboard and crashes into Tin Man. He causes Tin Man to break into pieces! You will have to read Tin Man Fix It to see if Tin Man gets put back together and if the garden gets finished.”
  6. Have the students read to each other alternating one page at a time. Monitor reading as you walk around the room. Tell them to hold up their sticky fingers every time they hear the /i/ sound. 
  7. When students have finished reading, take up all books. Pass out primary paper and pencils.
  8. For assessment, I am going to give the students a worksheet to complete with pictures of things such as an iguana, igloo, fist, and an inchworm.  Some of the pictures will have the i=/i/ sound and some will not.  “When you find a picture of something that has the sound i=/i/ in it I want you should circle that picture. If it does not have the /i/ sound then you will not circle the picture.While students are busy with the worksheet, have one student at a time come up and decode a list of pseudowords to you. Assess their understanding of the i=/i/ correspondence by counting the number of pseudowords they read correctly.



Shelley Horton, Icky Sticky!

Dr. Bruce Murray, The Reading Genie. http://auburn.edu/rdggenie

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