Beginning Reader: Mike Flies Kites

Elaine Sirota




Students must understand that correspondences appear differently in different words. Students must also understand the difference between long and short vowels. They must understand that these correspondences are spelled and pronounced differently. This lesson will review the i = /i/ sound and introduce the i_e = /I/ by spelling the words using letterboxes and later reading them. The students will also use pseudo words that reinforce the i_e = /I/ correspondence.




-white board, makers

-teachers letterbox and letters

-letterboxes for each student

-letters for each student (b, d, e, f, h, i, k, l, m, n, s, t)

-Kite Day at Pine Lake by Sheila Cushman and Rona Kornblum (copies for entire class)



-note cards with pseudo-words (yipe, mipe, sipe, mip, tife, pimp, pip, and gike)




1.      Class, we have already learned all of our short vowels. We already know that when we see i alone in a word, it makes the /i/ sound. Today we are going to find out what happens when there is an i, then a consonant, then an e at the end of the word. (Write i_e on the board.) The i says its name, /I/. (Demonstrate again on the overhead and the letters to make pine.) What letter does this say? (point to the p). Good job, /p/. How about this letter (point to the n)? Yes, /n/. Let’s put it all together. Don’t forget the e makes the vowel i say it’s name. Now, /p/ /I/ /n/.

2.      Ask them questions to find out if they understand. “Okay class, I am going to give you a couple of sentences and I want you to tell me which one has the /I/ sound in it, but first I am going to do an example. If my two words were rise and dip I hear the /I/ sound in rise and the /i/ sound in dip. Now, do you hear /I/ in side or stretch? Do you hear /I/ in nine or sit?

3.      Now we are going to use the letterbox. Each student will be given letterboxes and letters. The students have done letterboxes before. In this lesson we will be using 3, 4, and 5 phoneme words and letterboxes.  I will model first using my large set of letterboxes and letters.

4.      Now we are going to use our letterboxes. I will do the first word. I’m going to have 3 boxes. So how many sounds is my word going to have? (3), that’s right. I’m going to spell kite. I like to fly my kite. Kite. /k/, k is going to go in the first box. /I/, i is going to go in the second box, and I know there is going to be an e on the end to make this i say /I/. The e doesn’t make sound, so it doesn’t go in a box because the boxes are the sounds in the words. It goes outside the last box. /t/, t will go in the third box.

5.      Now, you are going to spell the rest of the words: bit, fin, hide, mike, bite, kite, smile and bride.

6.      Model how to read the first word without the letterboxes. I am going to show you how I would read this word. I know that the silent e on the end is going to make my i say /I/. I know that k is /k/. /k/ /I/.  Then I will add the t /t/. /k/ /I/ /t/. Kite! Now you are going to read some words.

7.      Pass out copies of Kite Day at Pine Lake. I will tell the children this book is about a young boy named Mike who likes to fly Kites. He goes to a park for the day called Pine Lake to fly his kite. I will ask children if they think anything will happen to Mike while he is at the park. The students will read the book in pairs. “Class, I want you to try to figure out each word with your partner. If you have any questions, raise your hand and I will come help you.”

8.      For assessment have each student come to your desk and read note cards with pseudo-words. Some words you can use include yipe, mipe, sipe, mip, tife, pimp, pip, and gike. This will assure you the students know the difference between i = /i/ and i_e = /I/. This can also serve as a review.




Adam, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and learning about print. Department            of Education, 1990.


Cushman, Sheila and Rona Kornblum. Kite Day at Pine Lake. Phonics Readers.           Educational Insights, 1990.


Locklier, Amy. Mike Likes Kites.

Click here to return to Perspectives