Aye, Aye Captain!

By Morgane East



A Beginning Reading Lesson


Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the long vowel correspondence i_e = /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_e. They will learn a meaningful representation (a sailor saying “Aye, aye Captain”) to help them remember the pronunciation, they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that mainly contains the correspondence i_e = /I/.



-Image of a sailor saluting the captain

-Whiteboard and markers

-Elkonin boxes for modeling

-Elkonin boxes for each student

-Letter manipulatives for each student: I, i, k, e, m, t, l, p, r, s, n, d

-List of spelling words on poster board or whiteboard: Ike, time, lime, pile, rim, spine, stride

-Decodable text: Kite Day at Pine Lake
-Fun Fonix Long I assessment worksheet



Step 1: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read short vowel words with i, like bib, and today we are going to learn about long I and the silent e signal that is used to make I say its name, /I/. When I say /I/ I think of a sailor saying “Aye, aye Captain!” (show image representation). Now let’s look at the spelling of /I/ that we’ll learn today. One way to spell /I/ is with the letter i and a signal e at the end of the word to tell me to say I’s name. (Write i_e on the board.) This blank line here means there is a consonant after i, and at the end of the word there is a little silent e signal.


Step 2: Before we learn about the spelling of /I/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /I/ in words, I hear i say its name /I/. When I say /I/ my jaw drops and comes back up, and the sides of my tongue touch the inside of my top teeth as I say /I/. (Make vocal gesture for /I/.) I’ll show you first: bike. I heard i say its name and I felt my jaw drop and come back up with the sides of my tongue touching the inside of my top teeth [exaggerate motion pointing out how my jaw drops and comes back up]. There is a long I in bike. Now I’m going to see if it’s in pit. Hmm, I didn’t hear i say its name and my jaw didn’t drop to make the /I/ sound. Now you try. If you hear /I/ in one of the words I say I want you to say, “Aye, aye Captain!” If you don’t hear /I/ say, “That’s not it.” Is it in ripe, pain, cat, like, pin, pipe?


Step 3: What if I want to spell the word stride? “I have a small stride because my legs are short.” Stride is the distance between my feet when I take a step. To spell stride in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /s//t//r//I//d/. I need 5 boxes. I heard that /I/ just before the /d/ so I’m going to put an i in the 4th box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /s/, so I need an s. Now it gets a little tricky so I’m going to say it slowly, /s//t//r//I//d/. I think I heard /t/ so I’m going to put a t right after the s. There’s one more phoneme before the /I/, hmm . . . /s//t//r//I//d/, I think I heard growling /r/. I have one empty box now. (Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /s//t//r//I//d/.) The missing one is /d/. Now I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. (Draw attention to the list of words on the board with spine on the top and model reading the word.) I’m going to start with the i_e; that part says /I/. Now I’m going to put the beginning letters with it: s-p-i_e, /spI/. Now I’ll put that chunk together with the last sound, /spI-n/. Oh, spine, like “My grandfather broke his spine.”


Step 4: Now I’m going to get you to spell some words in letterboxes. We’ll start out easy with two boxes for Ike. Ike is a boy name: “Ike went to the store for his mother.” What should go in the first box? (Respond to children’s answers). What goes in the second box? What about silent e, did you remember to put it outside the boxes? I’ll check your spelling while I walk around the room. (Observe progress.) You’ll need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for /I/ and remember to put the signal silent e at the end, outside the boxes. Here’s the word: time, “I don’t have time to go shopping today”; time. (Allow children to spell remaining words: lime, pile, rim, spine, and stride.)


Step 5: Now I am going to let you read the words you’ve spelled. (Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.)


Step 6: You’ve done a great job at reading words with our new spelling for /I/: i_e. Now we are going to read a book called Kite Day at Pine Lake. This is a story about a bunch of kids that go to the lake to fly their kites, but Bob is sad because he does not have a kite. Let’s pair up and read the story to find out if Bob cheers up. (Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Kite Day at Pine Lake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.)


Step 7: Before we finish our lesson about one way to spell /I/ = i_e, I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, we have some words missing. Your job is to read the short passage on the left of the paper and circle the picture of words that are in the passage. First try reading all the sentences, then pictures that represent long i words from the sentences. Check your answers to make sure you only circled pictures in the story. (Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.)



Assessment Worksheet:



Noie Yancey, Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts:                                          http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/yanceybr.htm.


Unknown. Kite Day at Pine Lake. Carson, CA. Educational Insights, 1990. 8pgs.

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