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Aye, Aye Captain

Aye, Aye Captain!

Beginning Reading

By: Catie Dennis

Rationale: This lesson teaches students about the vowel correspondence i_e = /I/. In order for students to be able to read it is important that they can recognize the spellings that create different word pronunciations. Throughout this lesson the student will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling i_e = /I/. The students will learn a meaning full representation (pirate that says I, I). They will also spell and read words containing this spelling in a letterbox lesson. They will also read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence i_e = /I/. All of these steps should help the students to receive mastery of the correspondence.


·      Image of a pirate

·      Cover up critter

·      White Board

·      Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin letterboxes for each student

·      Letter manipulatives for each student, magnetic letters for the teacher: i, t, e, b, k, l, s, m, r, d, k, r, p, c

·      List of spelling words on poster to read: ite, pile, smile, bride, sick, stripe, sprite, like

·      Decodable text: Kite Day at Pine Lake

·      Assessment worksheet 


1.    Say: We need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words in order to become a skilled reader. We have already learned to read short vowel words with i, like sit. So today we are going to learn about the long I and the silent e that always comes with it. This is to make sure the I says its name, /I/. When I say /I/ I think of a pirate listening to her captain as he says, “Aye, Aye Captain!” (Show image).  Now lets look at the spelling of /I/ that we are going to learn today. One-way to spell /I/ is with the letter /I/ and a signal e at the end of the word to let me know to say I’s name. (Write i_e on the board) The blank line here on the board shows that there is a consonant after the letter i and at the end of the word there is a silent e signal.

2.    Say: Before we start to learn about the spelling of /I/, we need to practice by listening for it in some words. When I listen for an /I/ in words, I hear /I/ say its name. My lips make a gesture as if I am getting ready to smile really big like this. (Make a vocal gesture for /I/). I’ll show you first: bite. I heard I say its name and felt my lips begin to smile.  Now it’s your turn! If you hear /I/ say, “Aye, Aye Captain!” If you don’t hear the /I/ say, “No way Jose!” Is it in: skin, sprite, crazy, drive, mine, cry, snow. (Have your students place point to their cheeks when they feel the /I/ say its name.)

3.    What if I want to spell the word bride? “The bride walked down the isle to meet her groom at the wedding.” A bride is a woman who plans to get married. To spell the word bride in letterboxes, first I need to know how many phonemes I have in the word so I am going to stretch it out and count: b//r//i//d/. I need 4 letterboxes. I heard the /I/ right before the /d/ so I am going to put the i in the third box and the silent e outside of the last box. The word starts with a /b/ so that’s easy; I will need a b. Now it is going to get a little tricky so I am going to say it very slowly, /b//r//I//d/.  I think I heard a /r/ so I’ll put a r right after the b. I only have one missing box now. (Point to letters in boxes when stretching out the word: /b//r//I//d//e.) The one missing is /d/ = d.

4.    Say: Now I am going to have you spell some words in your letterboxes. We’ll start out easy with two boxes for the word ice. The ice skater loves to spin. What should go in the first box? (Respond to 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 progress). Now that you have done ite you will need three letterboxes for the next word. Listen for the beginning sound that goes in the first box. Then listen for /I/ and don’t forget to put the signal silent e at the end, outside the boxes. Here’s the word: like, I like you a lot; like. (Give students time to spell words). Now its time to check your work! Watch how I spell it in my letterboxes on the board: l – i – k – e and see if you have spelling it the same way. Lets try another with three boxes: pile; there is a big pile of bricks over there. (Have a student volunteer spell it in the letterbox on the front board for the children to check their work. Repeat this step for each new word). Next word. Listen to see if this word has /I/ in it before you spell it: sick; the cold weather made me sick. Did you need a silent e? Why don’t you need it? Correct, because we don’t hear the I say its name. We spell it with out short vowel i. (Have volunteer spell it in front on the board) Did you remember to spell /k/ with a ck? Now lets try 4 phonemes: smile; the girl had a beautiful smile. One more than were done with spelling, and this time you need five boxes: sprite; my favorite drink is a sprite! Remember to stretch it out to get this tough word.

5.    Say: Now I am going to let you read the words you have spelled. But before that I will show you how I would read a tough word (display poster with stripe at the top and model reading the word) I am going to start with i_e; that part says /I/.  I see that there’s a silent e on the end that’s my signal that the vowel will say its name. There’s the vowel I. I am going to use a cover-up critter to get the first part. (Uncover and blend sequentially before the vowel, then blend the vowel.) I am going to put the beginning letters with it s – t – r- i_e /strI/. Now I’ll put the chunk together with the last sound, /strI-p/. Oh, stripe, like “There is a stripe on my shirt!” Now it’s your turn, everyone together. (Have children read words in unison. Afterwards, call on individuals to read one word on the list until everyone has had a turn.

6.    Say: You have done a great job and reading words with our new spelling for /I/: i_e. Now we are going to read a book called Kite Day at Pine Lake.  It is kite day at a special lake. All of the friends have different kinds of kites they are going to fly at kite day. Lets find out if they all know how to fly a kite or if something may happen to the kites! Lets read to find out. Lets pair up and take turns reading this story to find out about the kites. (Children pair up and take turns reading alternate pages each while the teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Kite Day at Pine Lake aloud together, and stops between page turns to discuss the plot.) 

7.    Say: As you can see the kite day ended up being a lot of fun. You all are slowly becoming experts on the i_e correspondence. I want to see all you have learned by asking you to complete a worksheet. I want to see how you can solve a reading problem. On the worksheet provided there are some words missing. Your job is to look in the box of word choices and decide which i_e word fits the best to make sense of this very short story. First try reading all the words in the box, then chose the word that best fits in this space. Reread your answers to see if they make sense. (Collect worksheets to evaluate students progress)


 Sheila Cushman, Kite Day at Pine Lake. Carson, CA: Educational Insights, 1990. Print. http://www.paperbackswap.com/Kite-Day-Pine-Shelia-Cushman/book/0886798671/ 

 Brown, Holland Selfish Sam says I : https://sites.google.com/site/readingholland/home/beginning-reading

 Assessment Worksheet: http://www.free-phonics-worksheets.com/html/phonics_worksheet_v2-09.html

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