Not a Stick


Blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -ick to make words such as stick, pick, and quick.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pick
  • stick
  • flick
  • quick


  • Sticks (e.g., twigs or small branches)
  • Different types of sticks
  • Stick graphic and letter cards (see below)
  • Letter cards for word blending (see below)
  • It is Not a Stick target text (see below)
  • What Can We Do With a Stick? target text (see below)
  • Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis (Harper Collins, 2011) (optional)

State and model the objective 
Tell the children they will pretend that a stick is something else like a fishing pole or a wizard's wand while they add sounds to the -ick ending to make words such as stick, sick, pick, lick, and tick.

Practice the skill within an activity

Pretend that a stick is not a stick

  • Read the book Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis with the children (optional).
  • Have the children hold a small stick (e.g., twig from a branch) and pretend that it is not a stick (e.g., "It is a fishing pole").
  • Show the children different types of sticks (e.g., walking stick, stick of chalk, chop stick, drum stick, glue stick, popsicle stick, pretzel stick, bread stick, stick of candy, tooth pick, chap stick, lipstick, etc.).
  • Let the children hold a stick and pretend that it is a different type of stick. Have them tell the group about the stick (e.g., "This is not just a stick. It is a chop stick.").
  • Read the target text What Can We Do With a Stick? (see below) and have the children act out things they can do with a stick.

Change the word stick into a different -ick word

  • Show the children the stick graphic (see below) and have them read the word stick.
  • Have the children place a letter card (see below) in front of the -ick ending (covering the letters st) in the word stick.
  • Have the children blend the sound(s) on the letter card with the -ick ending to read the new word.
  • Repeat with the other letter cards and make a list of the -ick words: lick, pick, kick, wick, quick, brick, flick, click.

Apply the skill (choose from the following) 

Read target words in a text (see below)

  • Read the target text It is Not a Stick together with the group. 
  • Have the children underline the words that end in -ick.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Repeat with the target text What Can We Do With a Stick?

Blend, segment, and spell

  • With word blending cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or the first consonant(s):
    • Change the beginning sound: pick → kick; tick → lick; stick → trick
    • Change the middle sound: stick → stack; trick → truck; click → clack; lick → lock

Write target words

  • Give each child a whiteboard and have them write words from dictation, changing one or two letters each time to make a new word
    • tick → lick → lock → sock → sick → pick → pack → quack → quick → stick → kick → wick.

SEEL Target Texts

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What Can We Do With a Stick?

What can we do with a stick?
We can stick things on a stick.
We can do a trick with a stick.
We can flick a stick.
We can kick a stick.
We can lick a stick.
We can do many things with a stick.

It is Not a Stick

I see a stick, but it is not just a stick it's a...
    walking stick
    stick of chalk
    stick of candy    
    chop stick
    drum stick
    glue stick
    popsicle stick
    pretzel stick
    tooth pick
I guess my stick is not just a stick.



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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.D: Distinguish between similarly spelled words by identifying the sounds of the letters that differ.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.C: Blend and segment onsets and rimes of single-syllable spoken words.