Beginning Reading

 Ashley Ramsey

Rationale:  Research shows that the best predictors of reading success are letter recognition and phoneme awareness, and the short vowel sounds are some of the most difficult for children to learn.  By the end of this lesson, the child should be able to identify i=/i/ and be able recognize the correspondence i=/i/ in spoken and written words.  Teaching a lesson such as this will help your students to ultimately become better readers. 


Dry Erase board and marker

 Picture of lady with "sticky" hands breadnjamforfrances.blogspot.com

 Primary paper and pencils for each student

Poster board with tongue twister

Worksheet with /i/ sound words that contrast with other sound words

Tin Man Fix-It (one copy per student)

"Sticky Hands" breadnjamforfrances.blogspot.com color page


 Letter boxes for each student,

  Large letter boxes for teacher

 Small letter tiles for each student (t, i, n, f, x, s, p, k, r, c) {TIN, FIX, SIT, KIT, TRIP, PICK}

 Large letter tiles for teacher (same as above)


1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that sometimes letters can make two different sounds.

Teacher says to class: The vowel I can make the IIIII sound and the iiiii sound.  Today, we are going to learn about short i. To make the /i / sound, open your mouth wide (like you would to smile) with your tongue resting on the back of your bottom teeth.  Everyone listen to the sound I make very closely and then we will try it together (Teacher models /i/ sound).  Now let's all try it together.  

Show the picture of the lady with "sticky" hands.

Teacher says to class:  Like the lady in the picture, I am going to pretend like I have some really sticky gunk on my hands and I cannot pull them apart  (Teacher models pretending to have sticky hands and makes the / i/ sound).  Now let's all pretend like we have sticky hands and make the /i/ sound.

2. Teacher says to class:  Now we are going to learn a tongue twister (Teacher will show the tongue twister "Isabelle the Indian was inside her igloo" written on the poster board). Now after I say the tongue twister you repeat it after me (Ask students to repeat the twister multiple times). This time we say our tongue twister let's stretch out the /i/ sound that we hear in each word "iiiisabelle the iiiindian was iiiinside her iiiigloo" (Ask students to do this twice through).  Now that we are so good at making the /i/ sound, let's make it even more fun!  This time when we make the /i/ sound we are going to pretend we have sticky hands.  Are you ready?  Let's try it together (Teacher models gesture for students and says the twister with the students twice through).   Great job boys and girls!

3.  Teacher says to class:  I'm so proud of you making the /i/ sound so well!  Let's take out our primary paper and pencils to practice writing the letter I.  (Teacher models writing upper case I and lower case i on the board). Get your pencils ready!  First let's make an upper case I.  We are going to make line from the rooftop down to the sidewalk.  Then we are going to cross our line with a short line at both the rooftop and the sidewalk.  Now let's make lower case i.  Make a line from the fence down to the sidewalk.  Then we are going to draw a dot above the line we just made between the fence and rooftop.  Great job!  Now let's write upper and lower case I on our paper five times each.

4.  Teacher says to class:  Now we are going to play a game!  I am going to give you two words.  I want you to tell me if you hear the /i/ sound in the first word or the second word.  Do you hear the /i / sound in Tin or Tap?  Cat or Kit?  Sick or Skate?  Fox or Fix?  Great job everyone!

5.  Teacher says to class:  Please take out your letter boxes and plastic letter tiles (t, i, n, f, x, s, p, k).  Spread out your letter boxes so that you see 3 colored squares *Remember, each box represents a phoneme (teacher models with large copy) and lay out your letter tiles across the top of the colored squares so you can read them all (teacher models with large letter tiles).  Now we will spell words that have the /i/ sound in them.  I will show you how it works with a practice word.  The word is "pin"; now let's say it together "pin".  The first sound in the word pin is /p/ so a P goes in the first box.  Can you tell me what the next sound is? (Make sticky hands gesture)  Right!  The next sound in /i/ so an I goes in the second box.  The last sound is /n/, so I will put an N in the third box.  Now let's read our word we just spelled "pin"- great job!  Now the teacher and students will go through these same steps with the following words: TIN, FIX, SIT, KIT, TRIP, PICK.

6.  The teacher will now spell the words on the dry erase board and ask the students to read the words together for confirmation of understanding and assessment,

Teacher will hand out a copy of Tin Man Fix-It to each student

7.  Teacher says to class:  Tim the tin man is working with Jim in the garden.  A big kid named Sid knocks Tim down.  Tim falls apart!  Will Jim be able to fix Tim?  You will have to read the book to find out!  I would like you to whisper this book to yourself, when you hear the /i/ sound, use the sticky hands gesture.  (The teacher will walk around the room and observe the children reading and using the hand gesture).

8.  For assessment, the teacher will pass out a worksheet with sets of different "i" words and a picture.  The students will match the /i/ word to the picture it represents.  After each student turns in their worksheet, the teacher will give them a color page titled "Sticky Hands" with a picture of a pair of sticky hands that they will color and keep in their folder.  This is a good assessment because the students will have to understand how to read /i/ words in order to complete the worksheet.


Phonics Readers-Short Vowels.  Tin Man Fix It.  Educational Insights, 1990.

Photo of "Sticky Hands"- breadnjamforfrances.blogspot.com

Cole, Emily.  "An Icky Sticky Mess"


 Simpson, Angela.  "Yuck, It's Icky Sticky"


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