Icky Sticky Snickers

Beginning Readers

Emily Colburn


This lesson teaches children about the short vowel correspondence i = /i/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling i. They will learn a meaningful representation (icky sticky snickers), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence i = /i/.


Chart with tongue twister, “ This medicine tastes really icky, I, I, I”, primary paper, pencils, Elkonin boxes, plastic letter tiles, Picture of icky sticky snickers bar, book-Tin Man Fix It, assessment worksheet for short i.


1. Today we are going to learn about the letter I and what it sounds like. The sound /i/ is in a lot of words. So you can be great readers you need to pay close attention! We are going to spell and read words with the sound /i/ in them.

2. Ask this question have you ever gotten something sticky on your hands like a sticky piece of candy? It feels very icky on your hands and you want to get it off (show sticky hand motions).  Well the letter I makes that same sound that you make when you have something sticky on your hands. To make the /i/ sound your mouth is opened and your tongue slightly lowered. Can you say the /i/ sound while using your hands to pretend you have something sticky on them?

3. Here is a tongue twister to help you with the /i/ sound. “This medicine tastes really icky I,I,I.” Now say it with me and make sure you are stretching out the /i/ sound. Here we go, Thiiiiiis mediiiiiiiciiiiine tastes really iiiiicky Iii,Iii,Iii. If the students need more practice circle the /i/ sound as you read it.

4. Let’s practice finding the /i/ sound in certain words. Do you hear /i/ in sip or cat, dog or dig, sit, or bed?

5. Now we are going to do a letterbox lesson with words that have the /i/ sound in them. Some words may be review words with short a and e in them. I’m going to model how to use the Elkonin boxes and the letter tiles. I want to spell the word tin like a tin man. Tttt iiii nnnn, I think I hear 3 sounds in the word tin so I’m going to get three letterboxes. Each sound you hear will go in a box. So in the first box I hear the sound /t/ so I’m going to put the letter t in the first letter box. Next I hear the icky sticky I (/i/), so I’ll put the letter I in the second box. Last I hear the sound /n/ so I’ll put the letter n in the last box. Now I’m going to check to make sure I spelled it right by sounding out each letter. /t/, /i/, / n/, this says tin!  

6. After modeling I will give the students elkonin boxes and letter tiles. Then I will call out a list of words for them to spell one at a time. I will observe everyone’s letterboxes. If a student misspells a word I will ask them to read it exactly like they have it. Once they get it correct we will move on to the next word. Word list 3—[bin, cat, bit, dig], 4—[skip, gift, milk, shin], and 5—[spend]

7. Have the student read the book Tin Man Fix It with a partner. First give a booktalk. This is a story about a tin man who falls down and can’t get up. Some people notice him and want to help him. Will they be able to fix the tin man? Let’s read to find out! Walk around the room and listen to students as they read to each other.

8. Have students write a message about when they were hurt and someone helped them.

9. Assessment: Give each student a worksheet. Students are to read each word aloud and color the pictures that have the /i/ sound in them. Have students come up individually to read the letterbox lesson words to me (3—[bin, cat, bit, dig], 4—[skip, gift, milk], and 5—[spend].)


"Icky Sticky Hands!" by Caitlin Clabby http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/persp/clabbybr.html
"Mouth Moves and Gestures for Phonemes" by Melanie Hummer http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/mouthmoves.html
"Phoneme Chants" by Melanie Hummer http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/chants.html

Picture: http://www.google.com/imgresq=snickers&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbo=d&rlz=1C1RNKF_enUS502US502&biw=1366&bih=643&tbm=isch&tbnid=7xQmnYBhd6s_QM:&imgrefurl=http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/10/the-snickers-candy-bar-was-named-after-a-favorite-horse-of-creator-frank-mars-in-1930/&docid=8_dwQTgKrU0X8M&imgurl=http://www.todayifoundout.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/snickers1.jpg&w=400&h=344&ei=m5OYUKj7E4Xa8wTC4IG4Ag&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=12&vpy=295&dur=478&hovh=197&hovw=229&tx=59&ty=84&sig=111949503221620524501&page=1&tbnh=143&tbnw=167&start=0&ndsp=11&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0,i:146

Tin Man Fix It by Shelia Cushman Educational Insights 1990

Assessment: http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/learning-letters/i2.htm

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