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Pigs Love Pickles

Pigs love Pickles

Lesson Design for Beginning readers

By Lauren Romano


Rationale: In order for children to learn to read, they must first be aware of the correspondence that exists between a letter and the phoneme it represents. Short vowels are the most difficult phonemes for children to be aware of and to identify in words. In this lesson, the children will learn to recognize the correspondence i=/i/ in written words. They will learn the sound i makes by learning meaningful representation and how to spell and read words with the i=/i/ correspondence through a letterbox lesson and by reading a book.


Materials: primary paper, pencils, letter boxes for each child, laminated or plastic letters: (a b f g h I n p r s t) copy of Did it Fit? For each student by Robert Charles, worksheets for each child. Letterboxes and tiles for the teacher



1.    Discuss the letter i and the sound that makes /i/, write it on the board so the students have a visual. Say: “Today we are going to be talking about the letter i. Does everyone know what sound that makes?” “Good! You’re right, its /i/. Let’s listen for /i/ in this sentence: The picky pig sits and eats pickles. Can someone come point to the letter in the word pig that says /i/? Good job! The letter ‘I’ is what makes the /i/ in pig. Can someone tell me another word in our sentence that has /i/ in it?”

2.    Say: “Now I want you to listen closely to some words and tell me which word has /i/ in it.” “Big or small? Kit or cat? Fit or flat? Limp or lame? Shrimp or shack? Fish or shark? Good Job!”

3.    Say: “Now I want to make sure that everyone knows how to write the letter /i/.” “Pull out your primary paper and pencil and write it 5 times on your paper, copying the movements like I do. Good job!”

4.    Begin the letterbox lesson. Say: “Let’s take out our letterboxes and letters. Watch what I do so that you know what we are doing.” Model how to place the letters i and t in the letterboxes to represent the word “it.” Say: “I want to spell it. So I need to figure out what letters make the sounds /i/ and /t/.” Then take the letterboxes away and say “this word says ‘it.’”

a.     Say: “Now I want you to spell ‘is’ in your letterboxes using your letters. Can someone tell me how many boxes we need to spell ‘is?’ Good job. We need two boxes because there are two sounds in the word ‘is.’”

b.    Continue with the letterbox lesson asking the children to spell fin, ran (review word), rib, thin, grip, and spit.

c.     After completion of spelling the words, write each word on the board, asking a student to read it to you.

5.    Say: “Now we are going to read a harder word. Do you hear the /i/ sound in the word shift? Let’s start by modeling. /Sh/ /i/ /f/ /t/. We know the vowel /i/ is in the word shift, so we will put /i/ in the second letter box. What comes before the /i/ sound in shift? I hear shhhhhh like someone is shushing me. So /sh/ will be in the first letter box. What comes after the /i/ in shift? Do you hear the fffff sound like we are brushing our teeth? Good! That goes after the /i/ so we will put /f/ in the third letter box. What sound do you hear at the end of the word Shift? Tttttt- Good! It is a /t/ sound, so t will go in the fourth letter box. Let’s sound that out all together now. Shhhhhh-i-ffff-tttt. Good Job! You are already reading hard words!

6.    Introduce the book “Did it Fit?” to the class with the following introduction: “This book is about a boy named Tim and his animal friends. They are looking to find a hat that fits them juusssst right. Do you think the boy and his animals will be able to find a hat that fits them? Let’s find a partner and read together to see what happens.”

7.    Have the children pair up and read the book to each other.

8.    For an assessment, pass out a worksheet for the children to work on. Say: “Boys and Girls, this is a worksheet that has short i sounds on it. I want you to color all of the words that have a short i red and all of the words that do not have a short i blue. When you get done coloring, write down what the picture turned out to be and I will come by and check it. When you get done on the back of the paper write down all of the words with a short i.”- Picture results in a picture of a pig.


Jennifer Pegues’ Lesson Design http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/begin/peguesbr.html

Online book: Did it Fit?: http://www.readinga-z.com/book/decodable.php?id=16

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