"Aye Aye Captain!"                            

Allie Lancaster

Rationale: This lesson will teach students about the long vowel correspondence i_e=/I/. Knowing this correspondence along with all the other ones we have been/will be working on are crucial for children to learn to read fluently. In this lesson, students will be able to recognize, spell and read words with the i_e in the word's spelling. They will be able to hear this phoneme and recognize the corresponding spelling of the word. Children will learn a meaningful representation of the spelling and phoneme (man following orders saying "aye aye captain!" while saluting a ship captain putting right hand to the head).

Whole class lesson


Graphic image of man saluting

cover-up critter

smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual boxes for each student

letter manipulatives for  each child and smartboard letters for teacher: i,c,e,d,h,k,t,p,n,s,m,l,p,r

list of spelling words on whiteboard to read: ice, dice, hike, kite, pine, smile, price, strike

decodable text "Di and the Mice"

assessment worksheet


1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code for how to pronounce words. We have already learned about the short vowel i like in the word sip, but today we get to learn about the long /I/ and silent e signal that is used to make the I say it's name /I/. When I say /I/ I think of a man saluting a ship captain saying "aye aye, captain!" (show image) Can you say that with me? Now we are going to look at spelling of the sound /I/.One way to spell this is with the letter I and a signal e at the end of the word to tell me to say the I's name. (write out this spelling on the smartboard.) This blank line here means that there is a consonant after I, and at the end of the word here there is a silent e signal.

2. Before we learn about the spelling of /I/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /I/ in some words, I hear i say it's name /I/ and my lips my a shape like this (model mouth movement.) I'll show you first: kite. I heard /I/ say its name and I felt my lips pull back and my mouth open up wide and my tongue pull back (slowly say kite, emphasizing /i/.) There is a long /I/ in kite. Now I'm going to see if it's in skip. Hm, I didn't hear /I/ say it's name and my lips and mouth didn't make the right /I/ shape it made in kite. Now you try. If you hear /I/ say "aye aye, captain!" and if you don't hear /I/ say "that's not it." Is it in tight, face, mice, sink, melt, ice? (Have children open up their mouth wide to make the /I/ motion when they feel /I/ say it's name.)

3. What if I want to spell the word strike? "Some lightning bolts strike the ground." Strike means hit in this sentence. To spell strike 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/ /k/. I need 5 boxes. I heard the /I/ just before the k so I am going to put the i in the fourth box and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /s/ so I know I need an s in the first box. Now I am going to say it slowly since it's getting a little harder to hear the sounds / s/ /t/ /r/ /I/ /k/. I think I heard /t/ so I'll put it right after the s. One more before the i, I think I heard growling /r/. I have one empty box now. (Point to the letters in boxes when stretching out the word.) The one missing is /k/.

Now I'll show you how to read a tough word. (Display poster with spite on the top and model reading the word.) I'm going to start with the i_e; the part that 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-t/. Spite, like "He said that mean comment to me out of spite." Spite means hate, if you feel spiteful about something you hate it.

4. Say: Now I am going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for ice. Ice is frozen water. "I put ice in my drink to make it colder." What should go in the first box? (respond to the student's answers.) What goes in the second box? What about the silent e, did you remember to put it outside the boxes? I'll check your spelling while I walk around the room. (Observe and informally assess how the students are doing spelling the assigned word ice in their letterboxes.) Now we are going to try another word. You'll need three letterboxes. Listen to the beginning sound to spell in the first box. Then listen for the /I/ and don't forget to put the silent e on the end outside the boxes. Here's the word: dice. I rolled the dice during the math game. (Allow the students to spell the remaining words:

3-hike, kite, pine

4- smile, price


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

6. You've done a great job reading the words with our new spelling for /I/: i_e. Now we are going to read a book called "Di and the Mice." This is a story of a girl named Di who takes a bike ride but when she stops to eat meets five white mice. Let's pair up and take turns reading "Di and the Mice" and finds out what Di does with the mice she meets on her bike ride. (Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages while teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads "Di and the Mice" aloud together, and stops between page turns to talk about the story's plot.)

7. Say: Before we finish up with 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 look in the box of words choices, and decide which i_e word fits best to make sense of this very short story. First try reading all the words in the box, then choose the word that fits best in the space. Reread your answers and see if they make sense. (collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.)


Morgan Barrow, All Hands on Deck! Aye! Aye! (I!I!): http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/journeys/barrowbr.htm

Cushman, S and Kornblum, R. (1990) Di and the Mice.

Assessment worksheet: https://blackboard.auburn.edu/webct/urw/lc22554136011.tp0/cobaltMainFrame.dowebct

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