Beginning Reading Lesson Plan

"Sticky Fish... Icky! "

By: Katie Olk


In order to read and spell words, children must have the knowledge of the alphabetic principle, the idea that letters represent phonemes and spellings map out phonemes in spoken words.  Knowledge of letter-sound correspondences must be present in order for children to successfully decode words and have future reading success.  Many times the most difficult phonemes for children to recognize are short vowels.  The purpose of this lesson is to help children identify the correspondence i = /i/. In addition, they will learn to spell and read words with the /i/ sound through a direct instruction lesson and reading a new decodable book with /i/ words.



Rhyme Chart with "It's A Fish!"  (Sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell)
Elkonin boxes for each student (up to 5 boxes)
White plastic letters for each student
Oversized letterboxes and letters
Dry erase board and markers
Phonics Reader: "Will Rick Get His Wish?"
Letters: (b,i,g,p,t,s,n,m,l,c)

It's A Fish! 

I think I see a fin
I see it swish and spin
I see six pink dots on the fin
I don't think I'll jump in!

This fish is big and thin
It winks and waves its fin
I wink at it and then I grin
I do think I'll jump in!



 1..Begin the lesson by explaining to the students that they are going to learn about the letter I and the sound it makes.  "We hear the /i/ sound in many spoken words and we see the vowel i in many spoken words.  It's a very important letter to recognize and sound to remember!  Today we are going to learn how to spell and read words with the letter i and /i/."

 2. Ask the students, "Have you ever been trying to glue something and the glue got stuck to your hands and made your hands all sticky?  What did you say when this happened to you?"  Listen for responses and if no one responds with a word with /i/, prompt them to the response "icky".  Then say, "Icky!  The first sound that you hear in that word is the sound that short i makes. When you make that sound your mouth is open and your tongue is near the bottom of your mouth. Let's all pretend that we have sticky glue all over our hands.  Hold up your hands and make the /i/ sound while looking at your hands.  Good job!

3. Direct the students' attention to the chart paper with the rhyme "It's a Fish" printed on it.  Tell the students that this is a rhyme that can be sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell". Sing the song for the students, pointing to the words on the chart as you sing.  Have students identify any words that have the /i/ sound.

Say to the students, "Now we are going to practice finding the /i/ sound in some spoken words.  When I say a word I want you to pretend to swim if you hear the /i/ sound in that word. Say the words; big, six, dots, pin, fix, jump, win, thin.

5.The next activity will be a group letterbox lesson with i = /i/ words.  Say to the students, "Boys and girls, you will need to make sure you spread out your letters so that you can see all of them." Make sure that each student can see the big teacher letterboxes and letters. "We are going to spell words that have the /i/ sound in them. Remember that each box can only have one sound.  Watch me as I spell our first word together.  Let's spell the word sit. The first sound that I hear in sit is the /s/ sound. We know that the letter s makes the /s/ sound.  So I am going to put the letter s in the first letterbox.  Now, let me say the word again, sit. The next sound I hear is /i/, that is the sound that we have been talking about and it is made by the letter i., so I will put the letter i in the second letterbox.  Now, I will say the word again, sit.  The last sound I hear is /t/ and I know it is made by the letter t, so I will put the letter t in the third letterbox.  I have just spelled sit in our box.  Let's do the next one together." Repeat the process using the word it. "Now it is your turn to see if you can spell words that have /i/ in them."  Have the students use their letters and letterboxes to spell the following words: is, big, pit, ship, him, list, clip, spit. Tell the students how many boxes are needed for each word they try. Tell the students to raise their hand when they are finished and you will come check.  This will serve as a means of individual learning.  For additional assessment spell the words on a dry erase board and have the students take turns reading the word.

6.Pass out copies of "Will Rick Get His Wish?" to each student.  Say to the students "Today we are going to read a story called "Will Rick Get His Wish?".  How many of you have ever been to a pet store?  When you went to the pet store did you wish that you could get a pet? This is a book about a boy named Rick who goes to the pet store with his mother.  Rick has a wish, what do you think his wish is?  Do you think Rick will get his wish?  To find out we will have to read the book. Have each student read the story aloud to a partner using their quiet voices.  Have one partner read and then have them switch. Walk around and observe students as they are reading, assessing the application of the /i/ skill to the new words.  For further assessment, have each student read individually to the teacher for assessment of acquisition of skill.



Kohtala, Mareena.  "Icky, Sticky"

 Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999) The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach for teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650
Phonics Take-Home Readers, Will Rick Get His Wish?"  2002 Pearson Education,

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