Aye, Aye “Captain I”

Lesson By: Kathy Walsh

Beginning Reading


Rationale: This lesson teaches students about the long vowel correspondence i_e = /I/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the graphemes that correspond to specific sounds. In this lesson students will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling i_e. They will learn a meaningful representation (a sailor saluting to his superior while saying Aye, Aye Captain), they will spell and read words containing this spelling in a Letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence i_e = /I/.



Chart with “It’s time for the nine to ride their big size bikes” on it

Letters with Letterbox:

Primary paper and pencil

Graphic image of man saluting

Decodable Text: “Kite Day at Pine Lake”


Dry erase markers with at least 2 different colors



1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the special code that tells us how to move our mouths and the sounds to pronounce words. We already learned to read short vowel words with i, like sit, 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 who makes the signal to his captain with his arm near his face while saying “Aye, Aye Captain.” (Show image to students) Now let’s look at the spelling of /I/ that we will 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 here means there is a consonant after i, and at the end of the word there is a little silent e signal. (In a different color marker write an example word to show how this would look in a real word: time)

2. Say: 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/ and my mouth is WIDE open and my jaw drop like this (make a vocal gesture for /I/). I’ll show you first: line. I heard i say its name and I felt my mouth open WIDE and my jaw drop. There is a long I in line. Now I’m going to see if it’s in sit. Nope, I didn’t hear i say its name and my jaw didn’t drop to make my mouth open WIDE. Now you try. If you hear /I/ make the gesture of a sailor saluting his captain. If you don’t hear /I/ then put your hands behind your back. I’ll show you an example. Say: mice (make the hand gesture). Say: lip (move your hands behind your back). Any questions? Ok, let’s get started. Is it in shine, bite, miss, site, dip, nice?

3. What if I want to spell the word rice? “For dinner we are eating my favorite food, fried rice.” Rice is a type of food. To spell rice in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I stretch it out and count: /r/ /i/ /c/. I need 3 boxes. I hear that /I/ just before the /c/. In this word, the letter c makes the same sound as the letter s, they both sound like /s/. I’m going to put an i  in the second letterbox and the silent e signal outside the last box. The word starts with /r/ so I need an r. Now I’ll show you how I would read a tough word. (display chart with strike 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-t-r-i_e, /strI/. Now I’ll put that chunk together with the last sound, /strI-k/. Oh, strike, like “I hope I don’t strike out during the next game.”

4. Say: Now I’m going to have you spell some words in letterboxes like I just showed you. You’ll stark out easy with two boxes for ice. I normally put ice in my drink to make it cold. What should go in the first box? (Respond to students’ answers). What goes in the second box? The letter c makes the same sound as in rice, /s/. 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 don’t forget to put the signal silent e at the end, outside eth boxes. Here’s the word: dive, my favorite thing to do in the pool is to dive; dive. (Allow the children to spell remaining words: nice, side, chime, drive, nine, spine, slime)

5. Say: Now I want to hear the words you’ve spelled. First we will read them all together starting with nice. (Have students read all the words together one time. Then point to each student to read a word until all students have called out a word.)

6. Say: Everybody did such a good job with reading words without new spelling for /I/: i_e. Now we are going to read a book called Kite Day at Pine Lake. This book is about a group of kids who take their kites to a park to fly them. Each kid has a unique kite to fly except for one boy who doesn’t have a kite. What will the other kids do when they see Bob with no kite? Let’s get a partner and read to find out it the kids help Bob. You will read a page and then your buddy will read a page until you finish the story. (The teacher will walk around and monitor progress in each group. After everyone reads with a buddy then you will reread with the class as a whole. After each page, you will pause and point out the words with the /I/ sound and discuss the plot.)

7. Say: Before we finish with our lesson about one way to spell /I/ = i_e, I want to see how well you can solve a reading problem. On this worksheet, you have pictures of words with the /I/ sound and some letters underneath. The letters spell the word in the picture but they are all mixed up. You will figure out what the picture is and then spell the word using the letters underneath. Don’t forget to double check your spelling to make sure you used all the letters. (Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progress.)






Cameron Pass - Oh my!  It’s I, I, I!




Kite Day At Pine Lake, Author Unknown


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