Getting Icky Sticky with Short i

Beginning Reading Design

Megan Lee

Rationale: Students have to become familiar with the phoneme and shape of each letter to be able to become a fluent reader. It is important to begin teaching short vowels before teaching long vowels. During this lesson, I will teach the  i=/i/ correspondence. I will teach this lesson by using a letterbox lesson. I will also use a tongue twister, letterboxes, and a decodable book.




         Primary writing paper

         Worksheet that has word choices beside the picture and have i=/i/ in them

         Letterboxes (one set for each student)

         Letter tiles [b,c,d,f,g,h,I,k,l,m,n,p,r,s,t]

         Words: [him, dip, spit, list, trip, gift, slick, flip, mist, swim] 

         Liz is Six. Educational Insights, c 1990.

         Picture of hand gesture

         Tongue Twister: The injured iguana inched into the igloo.


1.      Today we are going to learn about the sound the letter i sounds. It makes the /i/ sound. Say it with me. Good job. Do you know a word that has the /i/ sound in it? Big has the /i/ sound in it.

2.      Now we are going to practice writing i. Everyone needs to get their writing paper and a pencil out for this. Now to make the letter i you need to start under the fence and make a straight line down to the bottom of the sidewalk. You then place a dot between the fence and the rooftop above your line.

3.      Now we are going to work on recognizing i when we see it and know what sound it makes.  Have you ever spilt something (like glue or juice) and it was sticky on your hands? Pretend like you're shaking the sticky off of your hands. That is what we will do now whenever we hear or see /i/. Can you do it with me?

4.      This time I am going to say a sentence and when you hear /i/ I want you to shake your hands like you have icky sticky stuff on them. "The injured iguana inched into the igloo." Good job. Now I want you to stretch out the /i/ in the words. "The iiiinjured iiiiguana iiiinched iiiinto the iiiigloo." That was so good!

5.      Now I am going to say some words and I want you to tell me which word you hear /i/ in. Big or small? Bat or hit? Win or lose?  Great job! Now let's look at some words and I want you to tell me if they have /i/ in them. Sit or stand? Cow or pig? Six or three? Thank you for working so hard. Everyone is doing great!

6.      Now everyone needs to get their letterboxes and tiles out. Our first word is going to be him.  It will need three boxes. I am going to show you how to do this one. The first sound I hear is /h/ so I am going to put h in the first box. Can everyone see that? (Walk around and show the children your letterbox and check theirs). The second sound I hear is /i/ so what letter do you think we should put there? That's right! We put i in the second box. Lastly, I hear the /m/ sound so I will put m in the last box. Can everyone see that? Now I want everyone to practice doing what I just did. I will tell you how many letterboxes you will need for each word. I will walk around helping you. (The students will spell: [3-dip, hit, pin] [4- spit, list, swim, gift, trip, mist, flip, slick, swim]. I will model and help as needed. After they have spelled the words I will give each student a list with those same words on them. I will have them read these words as a group.

7.     Everyone did such a great job on the letterboxes. Now I am going to give everyone a copy of Liz is Six. You are going to get in partners and read this book. Liz turns six years old. She gets a really cool gift. Read and find out what gift Liz gets for her birthday.


Assessment: I will assess by giving the students picture cards. The card will have one picture on it and four different words. One of the words will represent the picture and will have the /i/ sound on it. The student will write the correct word for the picture and then can color the picture. If they get the word right, then I will know that they have mastered i=/i/.

Reference:  Erin Carey, Nick's Sticky Icky Fingers.