Icky Insect Is In Icky Sticky Ink

Beginning Reading

Teaching Decoding with Short Vowels

Turneqois Mark


I. Rationale:

            In order for children to learn how to read, they must be able to identify letters and the sounds the letter make.  The letter-sound correspondence is the basis of reading.  In thus, it is so important for teachers to go over each letters of the alphabet to clarify the tricky letters and acknowledge the short vowel sounds.  Short Vowels are the trickiest and harder letters to identify in reading so I think this lesson will help differentiate the sounds in the read words.  This lesson will focus on the i = /i/, words that are spelled with it, the ability to identify it in print and phonemes.  My objective is to make sure that each student is able to pick out the short “i” sound in a spoken word as well as be able to read the short “i” sound in whole texts readings.  To move forward in reading, the children must accomplish the phoneme/grapheme of i = /i/. 

II. Materials

1. Whiteboard and Marker

2. Letterbox (LB) set:  letters and boxes for phonemes

3. A copy of Tin Man Fix It for each student

4. Primary Paper for each student

5. Pencils for each student

6. List of Pseudowords: Ex: rit, mip, lig, gif, tig, sil, wiv, gip

III. Procedures:

Explain Why: “Today we are going to talk about the short i.  Can anyone let me know what sound the short i?”  I will be making sure that the students can hear the sound the short i makes, rather I or another student provide the sound.  “The letter i is in a group with four other special alphabets can you tell me what the group of letters are called?”  “Correct!  They are called vowels.”  “Can anyone tell me why vowels are important?"  “Great!  Every word needs a vowel to help pronounce the word correctly, but vowels can be tricky.  They can make at least two very different sounds, but today we will only go over one and that is the sound the short i makes.”

Review:  Let’s go over what we have learned so far about the short i.  We will not review each of the correspondences that we have talked about in the past, but we will review the short e and short a.  What sounds do the short a and short e make?  I will wait for the children to respond and I will reply by asking them to give me a word that contains these short vowels sounds. 

Explain How: “Today we will talk about the sound of the short i.  We will find ways to help us remember the sound, spell words that have this sound and the other short vowel sounds that we have just discussed.   When we are finished, we will read a story that has plenty of short i  words.”

Model:  “Let me tell you a way, I remember what the short i says.  If I get glue or something sticky on my fingers, I shake them and say icky sticky. I need for everyone shake their hand as if you had something sticky and icky on them.  Great!  Now everyone say ‘icky sticky’ with me as we do it together!”  “Awesome!”  I will proceed to the whiteboard to write the tongue twister on the board so that everyone may see it.  “Our tongue twister for today is ‘Icky Insect Is in Icky Sticky Ink.’  Now I need for everyone to read the tongue twister with me.   Great!  Is there any short i sounds in this tongue twister?  “Let’s read the tongue twister again and every time you hear the short i sound, I want you to shake your hands the way we did a moment ago as if something sticky were on them, I want you to drag the short i sound out during your shaking.  Let’s do it!”  ‘Iiiicky Iiiinsect iiiis iiiin Iiiicky Stiiicky Iiiink.’  “Great job!”  “Let’s do this a couple more times”  We would do this several times until I am sure that each of the students is doing the activity, after the fourth time, I will have each student copy the sentence and circle the short i sound on there paper.  After having the children write the words, I will model saying each word by dragging out the short i sound in each word.  This will be a more formal way to see if everyone grasped the idea of the short i.

Simple Practice: “Now that we are finished with the tongue twister we will work with our letter boxes.”  “Everyone lay the letters out so that you can see all of your letter, make sure that the letters are on the side with the lower case letters.”  Each child will be able to on their own, but the children will be paired up due to the limited amount of letters and for peer help.  I will have six different color construction paper taped to the white board so that the children can see my letters and my letter box.  The letters will in the same shape of the students’ letters, only bigger and on white copy paper.  “Does everyone remember how to use the letterboxes?  We want to put only one sound in each box.  Sometimes two letters make one sound, and for that we will put both letters into the same box.  The first word is ‘it,’ so for this word we only need two boxes out.”  I would continue the letterbox activity, guiding the students, walking around and making sure that each student is spelling the word correctly.  I would also spell the words on the board after the students have had the opportunity to put the phonemes into their boxes. There will be other words used for two and three phonemes: in and at.  It is important to mix in the short e and the short a, because we used these short vowel sounds to help introduce the short i and because they are already familiar with these short vowel sounds.  This can also help to make sure the children are able to differentiate between the sounds and not assume that we are only using the short i.  For three phonemes: sit, red, bag and lick.  For four phonemes: flip, brick and snack.  For five phonemes: blink, slept, crisp, string.  And for six phonemes: strand.  The children will read these words after placing the phonemes into each letter box.

Whole Texts:  The students will still be in their pairs and only one will have a copy of the book Tin Man Fix It.  After one student finish reading the book, the other one will have the opportunity to read the book.  BookTalk:  In this book, Jim and the Tin Man are preparing a garden and then down the hill come the big kid Sid on a skateboard.  He is headed right for the garden.  What will happen next?  You must read to find out.  I will go around the room and listen to the students read to their partners and make notes on each student to pick up any missing correspondences.  I will have only two groups reading at a time to make sure that I have the opportunity to get a running record on each student.  The other students will be making words with the letters that are at there desk in the letterboxes using the learned correspondence and the correspondences previously learned.  This will continue until, I have heard everyone read.  I do not want the students to read out loud for the entire class to hear, because not all children are going to read at the same paste and I don’t want the children to be afraid of others picking at them and their progress.

Assessments: The running record will act as the assessment.  Notating and planning on each child’s reading will is a great way to see if the children grasped the concept of short i and they remember the short a and short e.  I will also have the children read the pseudowords made: rit, mip, lig, sil, gif, wiv, tig, gip. To monitor and further assess the children’s need and strengthen their weakness in learning a new correspondence.

IV. Reference

Nick’s Icky Sticky Fingers by: Erin Carey



Icky Fingers by: Jenni Anderson



It’s Incrediable Isn’t It by Rebecca Smith



Cushman, Sheila.  Tin Man Fix It Educational Insights, 1990.


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