Izzy’s Icky Sticky Hands

Izzy's Icky Sticky Hands 


Rebecca Macintire

Rationale.  Students will learn the phoneme /i/ that is represented by the grapheme i. In order to become successful readers, students need to become phonemically aware.  This lesson focuses on the phoneme /i/ and incorporates useful techniques that will help the student to remember the connection between the grapheme and the phoneme.



-Phoneme picture of /i/ = icky sticky

-Chart paper with the tongue twister “Izzy’s icky iguana is still ill.”

-Letter tiles (per student) {a, b, c (2), e, f, h, i, k l, n, p, s, t} 

*One set at teacher's desk {b, f, g, i, k, l, p, s, t}

-Letter boxes (per student and one for teacher's desk)

-Chart paper with letterbox lesson words printed on it

-Chart paper with pseudowords printed on it

-Cover up critters (popsicle sticks with googley-eyes)

-Copies of Tin Man Fix It or other decodable book featuring the phoneme /i/ (one per two students)

-Primary writing paper

-Paper with big, slit, flip, and split printed on it.



1.We are going to learn the letter i.  The letter i makes this sound /i/.  Can you say /i/? /i/.  Notice how your mouth feels when you say /i/.  When I see i, I think of icky sticky (shake your hands in front of you like you have something sticky on them).  Have you ever had something sticky on your hands like that?  Show me how you can shake your hands icky sticky.  Show phoneme picture and keep out the duration of the lesson.  Explain that they can look to it to remember that i says /i/.  Today we are going to read and write with the letter i.

2.Show the tongue twister written on chart paper.  Let’s begin by saying this silly tongue twister.  “Izzy’s icky iguana is still ill.”  Did you hear /i/?  Now let’s say it again, but let’s stretch out the /i/ sounds we hear.  “Iiiizzy’s iiiicky iiiiguana iiiis stiiiill iiiill.”  Let’s say it once more, and we’ll stretch out the /i/ sounds and do the icky sticky hand motion every time we hear /i/.  “Iiiizzy’s iiiicky iiiiguana iiiis stiiiill iiiill.”  Repeat a couple of times.

3.Now let’s listen for the sound /i/ in some words.  I am going to say two words and you listen for /i/.  Listen for /i/ in fish or bass.  Shake your hands icky sticky if you hear /i/ in fish.  Bass?  Repeat with (sit, set); (pick, plant); (jump, skip); (flip; toss).

4.Hand out letterboxes and letter tiles to each student.  We are going to spell words inside these boxes.  We will put one sound in each box.  For example, if I told you to spell the word kick, kkkk-iiii-kkkk…” and model how students will put k in the first box, i in the second box, and ck in the third box.  Be sure to point out that they will only have the number of boxes showing for the number of phonemes in a word.  Now it’s your turn!

5.Some words I ask you to spell will have /i/ in them, but others may have /a/ or /e/ so you’ll have to listen carefully.  What letter says /a/ as in cat?  What letter says /e/ as in pet? Ask students to spell the following words:  2 phonemes: {in, at}; 3 phonemes: {kit, fin, set, lit, big}; 4 phonemes: {still, clap, click}.  Letters needed: a, b, c(2), e, f, h, I, k, l, n, p, s, and t.  Provide a sentence with each word.  Say words slowly, carefully enunciating the phonemes.  Monitor students’ progress.  Do not go on to the next word until all students have successfully spelled the word.  If a student misspells the word, read the word that they have written and see if they are able to correct their mistake.  If they cannot, the correct spelling may be given.  If a student represents all of the phonemes but does not spell it correctly, praise them for their achievement then show them the correct spelling.

6.When students have completed spelling, take up the letter tiles and boxes.  Now let’s read the words that we spelled.  I will point to the words on the poster, and you read the aloud together.  Monitor students by listening and watching for those who stumble over these words.  You may ask them to read the words two times through. 

7.Sometimes we come across words we don’t know.  Let’s look at this word.  Uncover first pseudoword slif.  Model how to read slif by covering up the –if­ and sounding out /sl/ then adding the /if/ and blending them together.  Practice with other pseudowords:  frip, strib, chilp, hish.  If you come across a word you don’t know when you are reading your book, be sure to use your cover up critter to help you.

8.Hand out the books Tin Man Fix It.  This is a book about a tin man who is Jim’s really good friend.  They have a lot of fun together, but one day he gets broken!  Do you think Jim will be able to fix him?  Let’s read with a partner to find out.  Students will get a buddy and read one page at a time aloud.  They will then switch and read the alternate pages.  Walk around and monitor students reading during this.  Talk about the story when all the students have finished.

9.Now we are going to write about anything that we want!  You can tell me about what you did last weekend, about your pets, or about anything that you want.  Pick up books and pass out paper.  Students should write at least three sentences.

10.While students are writing, call them up to your desk for an individual assessment.  Have a letter box set up with letter tiles at your desk.  Have them spell the following words:  (3)big, (4) slick, (4)flip, (5)split.  Phonemes in parentheses.  Hand student the sheet to have them read them.



*Dyess, Trinity L.  Reading Genie. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/odysseys/dyessbr.html

*Wilson, Barbie.  Reading Genie.  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/passages/wilsonbr.html

*Murray, B. A., & Lesniak, T. (1999). The letterbox lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644- 650.

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