The Fine Vine

Britney Cain


It is important for students to understand that some letter make more than one sound, and they must learn when the letters make each sound. In this lesson, students will learn that i_e=/I/ by physically spelling the words with letter tiles and letter boxes and identifying this grapheme in written words.


Document camera

Letterboxes (1 teacher set and 1 for each student)

Letters (1 teacher set and 1 for each student) [b, d, e, h, I, k, l, m, n, p, r, a, t, v, w, z]

“The Fine Vine” passage (copy for each student)

Tongue Tickler on chart paper- Ike and I ice our ice skates

Assessment worksheet with a picture of a bike, bride, kite, fin, ice, lips


1. “Can anyone tell me what sound i makes? /i/. Right, i does make the sound /i/, but sometimes it can make another sound. In some words, the letter i actually says its name /I/. Everyone point to their eye and stretch out that sound with me. I-I-I-I-I. Good. This is called the long I sound. Let’s say that together one more time. I-I-I-I-I”

2. “Now we are going to read out tongue twister. Every time we get to a word with the long I sound, I want everyone to point to their eye and stretch out the /I/. Let’s get started. I-I-I-I and I-I-I-I-I  I-I-I-Ice our I-I-I-I-Ice skates. Did everyone hear that long I sound? Good.”

3. “I am going to say a word and I want you to tell me if you hear the long I sound. Pipe. Let’s stretch it out to make sure everyone hear that long I sound (point to eye while stretching out the word). P-I-I-I-I-I-Ipe. Yup, I can hear the long I sound!”

4. “When we are reading, we are going to come across some words that have this long I sound, but how will we know if we are supposed to say /I/ or /i/?” Write the word dim on the board. “Can anyone tell me what this word is?” dim! “Right, this word says dim, but what if we add an e to the end of the word? A lot of times, by adding the silent e at the end of the word, it will make our I say the long I sound. So now, our word says dime.”  

5. Pass out letterboxes and letters to each student. The teacher will model a word the document camera with his/her own letterbox and tiles. Open 3 letter boxes. “Let’s practice spelling some long I words. I’ll show you an example first. I want to spell the word like. Remember, there is one sound in each box, so if the letter doesn’t make a sound, we need to put it outside of the box. Like. Lllll-iiiii-kkkk-eeee.” Show students that l, i, and k all get their own boxes, but the silent e will be placed outside the letterboxes, after the k. When I look at this word, I know that the I in the middle will make the long I sound because there is a silent e at the end of the word.”

6. Have students spell the following words on their own letter boxes: hive, bite, ride, mile, shine, spike, swipe, prize. Call words out one at a time, so that the teacher can walk around and observe students’ word. Scaffold when appropriate. Start with 3 letter boxes, and then let students know when to open up four.

7. Pass out “The Fine Vine” passage after letterboxes are put away. Give book talk: Has anyone ever helped their mom or dad rake leaves? Who has ever jumped into a big pile of leaves? Well, one day Mike was raking leaves in his front yard, when all of the sudden, his pile of leaves started moving! What do you think it could be? Let’s read and find out what Mike finds in his leaf pile.

8. Allow students to partner up with someone at their table. They are allowed to move around the room to sit in designated reading areas. Students will take turn reading the passage to one another, while the other student follows along and listens for mistakes.

9. Teacher will walk around the room to monitor students’ reading and assist when necessary.

10. Bring class back together to complete a worksheet. Together, go over each picture and the directions. Do one example together. Allow students to match the word with the picture by drawing a line to connect the two. If the picture or word does not contain the long I sound, students are directed to place an X over them. Students will turn the worksheet in, so that instructor can assess students’ grasp on the grapheme i_e.  


Lesson Design and Tongue Tickler: “Ride that Bike” by Kelby Conway

“The Fine Vine” ideas:


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