Beginning Reading
Kayla Wesley

Rationale: This lesson is designed to help students identify the short I phoneme sound i = /i/. In order to become fluent readers, students must recognize that written words are mapped out pronunciations of phonemes. During this lesson, students will see and hear i = /i/ represented meaningfully, read and spell words with this correspondence as part of a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book with this correspondence as the focus.


·        "Icky Sticky I" picture (included)

·        Letterboxes for each student – 6 paper boxes taped together

·        Letter manipulatives for each student: i, t, s, c, k, w, g, w, m, r, n, p

·        Magnetic letters and boxes for teacher

·        List of short i words for students to read after the letterbox (can be on paper or poster board): it, is, sick, twig, swim, string, sprint

·        Decodable text: Liz is Six

·        Cover up Critter

·        Assessment worksheet (URL at end).


1. Introduce the lesson by making an Ii on the board. Say, "Does anyone know what this letter is?" Hopefully all students will recognize and respond. Then say, "Does anyone know what sound it makes?" Again, hopefully students will recognize and respond. However, if they don't that's what this lesson is for. Next, say, "Today we are going to be learning about the short I sound, i = /i/. Everyone say it with me, i i iiiii."


2.     Next, show the students the graphic image of "Icky sticky I" and say, "Short i sounds like iii, like in icky sticky." Allow students to say iii a few more times.

3.     Now say, "Before we learn the spelling of /i/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /i/ in words, I hear /i/ like in icky sticky. My mouth is open and my tongue is low (make vocal gesture). Here, I'll show you first: sssiiiitttt. OH! I heard /i/ because my mouth was open and my tongue was low!"

4.     Say to students, "Now we're going to let you try! I'm going to say some words and I want thumbs up if you hear /i/, thumbs down if you don't. Mitten, snow, puppy, kitten, sick, well"

5.     Say: "Now we are going to spell some words using our letterboxes.  First I am going to show you how we use a letterbox.  The first thing we need to know is that every box represents a sound.  We put the letters in the boxes that match the sounds."


So first, I'm going to spell the word "brick". To spell brick with letterboxes, I need to know how many phonemes are in the word to know how many boxes I need. To figure out how many phonemes I need, I'm going to stretch the word out and listen: bbbb/rrrrr/iiii/kkkkk. I hear four sounds, so I need four boxes. Bbbbb/rrrrr/iiii/kkkk. I heard /i/ in there, right before the /kkkk/ sound, so I'm going to put i right here (in third box). I also heard /b/ at the beginning (stretch out again). I know what sound says /b/, that's B! So I'm going to put it in the first box! I also know that I heard /r/ after /b/. R says /r/ so I'm going to put that in the second box. So, now I have bri-, hm, that means all I have left is the /kkk/ sound. Sometimes, words that end in the /k/ sound need two letters, c and k. So I'm going to put ck in the last box. Now, I have bri- and –ck! I spelled brick!

6.     Now I need to know how to read this word. Display "brick" on a poster or the white board. Bbbb/rrrrr/iiii/ccc/kk. BRICK. This word is brick!

7.     Say: Now it's your turn to spell some words. The first word that I want you to spell is it, like WE DID IT! How many sounds do you hear in it? (Have students stretch out word and count the sounds). Do you hear /i/ in it? Was it at the beginning or the end? What other sound do we need? – Hear students' responses and allow them to put letters in their boxes. Do the same for each of the rest of the words on the list. Remember to define each word or use in a sentence!

8.     Now say: Now it's time to read all of the words we have spelled. Display the words that the students spelled and allow them to read the list. You may need to re-model reading the first word.

10.Good work! Now we are going to read a story called "Liz is Six." [Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Liz is Six aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.]

Give a book talk about "Liz is Six" dramatizing the problem without spoiling the ending!

11.Lastly, I'm going to pass out some short i problems. When you get your worksheet, look at the words in the box. Try to read all of these words to yourself. Then, look at the list of words on the paper. There are letters missing! From your word box, decide what letters are missing and fill them in. (Assessment worksheet).

Assessment worksheet: http://www.tlsbooks.com/shortiphonograms.html -- Making short i words.

Reference: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/awakenings/shepherdkbr.htm

Phonics Readers-Short Vowels.  Liz is Six.  Educational Insights, 1990.


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