Flying High with I

Beginning Reading

By:  Heather Smith

Rationale: In order to be skillful readers, students need to understand that correspondences appear differently in different words. They must learn to distinguish between short and long vowels as well. The focus of the lesson will be on the long vowel I and its corresponding sound. Students will be able to distinguish its sound and be able to determine the movements of their mouth when it is spoken. In this lesson students will practice the long vowel I correspondence i_e=/I/.

Materials: Enough for each student

Book: Di and the Mice

Picture cue for long I = (hand to head in a salute) “Aye, Aye, captain”

Tongue Twister: Ivey's vines are full of white mice who hide.

Word list: (3)- hide, vine, like, rice, time

                (4)- tribe, bright

               (5)- strike

Letterboxes for lesson

Letter tiles needed: b, c, d, e, g, h, i, k, l m, n, r, s, t, v

Letterbox words on flashcards

Assessment worksheet  (not provided but one can be made up)

Pseudo words flash cards: yipe, scrine, nime, libe, frike, brife


1). Show the student(s) the picture cue for long /I/. Discuss the hand gesture that goes along with the picture. Say, “A great way to remember the long vowel I sound is by holding your hand up to your forehead like you are saluting a captain.” “Can anyone tell me what they say?” “They say, Aye, Aye, captain.”  Discuss the mouth positioning when the letter I is being spoken. Say, “the mouth is slightly open with a voiced sound coming from the back of the throat area being slightly pushed out with air.”

2). Now say the tongue twister and then have the student(s) repeat it with you. Stretching the /I/: “IIIIvy’s viiiines are full of whiiiite miiiice who hiiiide”. Also discuss with student(s) that the long I can be spelled in different ways and provide them with at least one example. For example, another long I correspondence is igh=/I/.

3). Now we are going to spell some words using our letterboxes. The words for this lesson include 3, 4, and 5 phoneme words. Lay out the letters and letterboxes needed for the student(s) to spell the words from the list. Explain that each box represents each letter sound in a word. First model how to spell a word using the letterboxes. Say, “I am going to spell the word ride to demonstrate what you are to do.” I will lay out three letterboxes because I know that the word ride has three phonemes.” Start modeling process: Ride. /r/, the letter r will go in the first box. /I/, the letter i will go in the second box. /t/, the letter t will go in the third box and I will place the letter e beside the third box on the outside because it is a silent e.  

4). Now go through the words with the students and have them spell all the words in the letterboxes. Start with three letterboxes and work your way up. Have the students spell: hide, vine, like, rice, time, tribe, bright, and strike. After they have finished spelling the words show them flashcards with the words written on them. They should be able to read the words off the cards. Model the first one. Say, /h/ /i/ /d/. hide.

5). Next lesson: Ask the students if they hear the /I/ sound in the following words and if they do have them hold their hand up in salute position and say, “Aye, Aye, captain”. The following words can be said at random: break, bright, pin, hide, crumb, mouse, mice, hood, bike, bake, light, chocolate, monkey, tiger.

6). After the lessons are finished it is now time to read the book. A good book for this lesson would be Di and the Mice. Pass out copies of the book to the students and give a book talk. This story is about a girl named Di who likes to ride her bike. She is riding her bike one day and stopped for lunch by some vines. While eating she sees something white in the vines. What could possibly be white in the vines? We will have to read to find out. By having the students read this book will reassure that they can read words with the long vowel I correspondence.

7). For assessment, you can give the students an assessment worksheet or have the students one at a time come to you and read from flash cards with pseudo words on them. The pseudo words are as follows: yipe, scrine, nime, libe, frike, brife.


The Reading Genie Website: I Scream for Ice Cream. By: Glenna Neilson

Cushman, Sheila & Rona Kornblum. Di and the Mice. Educational Insights. Carson, CA. 1990.

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