Emergent Literacy Design: Get icky sticky with /i/

By: Jessica Horsefield

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify the phoneme /i/ in both written and spoken words. Students will learn to recognize /i/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (hand gesture--icky sticky!) and practice finding /i/ in words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo."; drawing paper and crayons; Pig in a Bag by Geri Murray (http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/pig/pigcover.html); word cards with IN, DIG, FIX, MINT, FRILL; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /i/ (URL below).

Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /i/.  We spell /i/ with letter I.  I in this case makes a sound like "icky sticky" on our fingers!

2. Let's pretend to shake the icky sticky off of our fingers!  /i/cky st/i/cky!, /i/cky st/i/cky! Notice what your mouth does when we make the /i/ sound. Your mouth is open and does not touch each other. Your tongue stays still.

3. Let me show you how to find /i/ in the word lift.  I'm going to stretch lift out in super slow motion and listen for icky sticky sounds.  Lll-i-i-ift.  Slower: Lll-i-i-i-fff-t There it was! My  mouth stayed open and my tongue didn't move for the /i/ part!

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "The important Indian was ill with injuries inside the igloo." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /i/ in each of the words. " The iiiiiiii-mportant Iiiiii-ndian was iiiii-ll with iiiiii-njuries iiiiii-nside the iiiii-gloo" Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "The /i/mportant /i/ndian was /i/ll with /i/njuries /i/nside the /i/gloo."

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter I to spell /i/. Capital I looks like a tall skinny indian.  Let's write the lowercase letter i. Go down from the fence and give him a feather.  I want to see everybody's i. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /i/ in fun or fin? big or small? in or out? Lift or drop? Stiff or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the /i/ sound in some words. Do the "icky sticky" fingers if you hear it. Big, Tree, Window, Flower, Bug, Insect, Spider, Flick, Tack.

7. Say: "Let's look at a story about a boy that gets a pig for a birthday present. Some crazy things happen and the pig escapes! We need to read to find out what happens!" During the story, students will have the chance to identify words that make the /i/ sound. Afterwards, they will have the opportunity to draw their own animal that has the /i/ sound in it's name. Example: Pig, Lizard, Chicken, etc.

8. Show BIG and model how to decide if it is big or dog: The I tells me that something is icky sticky, so I know that sound is in BIG.  You try some: FIX: fix or max? MITTEN: glove or mitten? BRICK: brick or break? FILL: fill or fail?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students draw a line to the pictures that have the /i/ sound in them and color them. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.

Reference: "The Iddy Biddy Igloo" By Amy Bright


Assessment worksheet


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