Icky Sticky
Beginning Literacy
Allison Sanders

Rationale: To read and pronounce words, children need to be able to distinguish the vowels of the alphabet.  Before children can learn to read and spell words, they have to have knowledge on the short vowels and then progress to long vowels.  For this lesson we will be learning what sound the short vowel i sounds like and use it with our letter box lesson. The short vowel i is easy to get mixed up for the younger children because they have not developed complete phoneme awareness.  The vowel i does not look tough to learn but for children who are just starting to read, they have not developed the knowledge of how it is pronounced. 


Materials: Short Vowels. Fun with Phonics! By Deborah Eaton , popsicle sticks, red construction paper with the word STOP on it, black sharpie, and dry erase board.


Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson by showing that short vowel i sounds like the word icky.  This will give the students the opportunity to relate this to real life.  When they think of something that is icky, they will be able to recognize the vowel. We will then reiterate this sound again and I will show them some examples on our dry erase board.  I will write words such as big and hit.


2. Ask students: Did you hear the i sound in pick? Did you hear the i sound in lift? Let’s practice the icky sticks of i by making the sounds from dig and brick.


3. Let’s now try a tongue twister [on dry erase board].  “Izzie the lizard licked the lollipop in a lickety split!”  Now let’s say this three times together and really stretch out the vowel i.  “IIIzzie the liiizard liiicked the lolliiipop iiin a liiickety spliiit!.”  The next tongue twister is “Ian kicked the icky igloo over.”  Now let’s say this three times together and really stretch out the i sound. “ IIIan kiiicked the iiicky iiigloo over.”


4. [Have students pull out their stop signs on the popsicle sticks].  We will now read the book Short Vowels. Fun with Phonics! By Deborah Eaton.  As I read the story, the students will listen out for words containing the short vowel i and as they hear the sound, they will hold up their stop signs and we will go over that particular word as a class.


5. Let me now show you how to spell words using the short vowel i with our letter boxes. The first word is dig and we will break each letter into the first three boxes.  D will go in the first box because it is the first sound you hear, i in the middle because it is the vowel that we hear, and g in the last because it is the last sound we hear.  I now want you guys to try putting the word brick in the appropriate letter boxes. 


6. Call on students to answer the right word that they hear our short vowel i.  Do you hear i in lizard or ant?  Drink or cook?


7. Say: “Dave can swim.”  Do you hear the icky sound in can or swim? “Alan has ridden his motorcycle.”  Do you hear the i sound in ridden? There is another word in this sentence that contains the i sound and it is in his. I will read them again and as I say the key word, a student will raise their hand and write the letter they hear on the dry erase board.  This will be a great review and practice for them.


8. For assessment, distribute a copied page from the story, and they will circle the words that contains the short vowel i.


Resources:Schoolfield, Lucille D. & Timberlake, Josephine B. Sounds The Letters Make: An Alphabet Book for Better Speech and Better Reading.  2001.  35 p.
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