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How to Teach Long i to Young Kids

Updated on April 2, 2020
Felisa Daskeo profile image

I am a certified teacher and have been tutoring young children for almost 40 years.

The word kite has long i.

The Long I:

The long vowels are easy to recognize because they sound like their name. Try to read these vowels and find out; a e i o u.

I have taught long a, and long e already, so I am going to discuss long i today. The sound of long i is like its name. So, it is easy to identify long i.

There are different ways to recognize if the word has the long i:

The first one is to see if the word has the vcvc (vowel-consonant-vowel consonant) pattern just like the words: like, hide, mile. If there is an e at the end of the word, the sound of i is long.


Here are some examples.

  • bike
  • like
  • hike
  • mike
  • dike
  • mile
  • bile
  • tile
  • pile
  • file

The sound of i in the words ending in -gh and -ght is long

Here are examples:

  • sigh
  • high
  • thigh
  • tight
  • fight
  • light
  • sight
  • might
  • night

The sound of i in the 3-letter words ending in -ly and -ry is long.

Here are examples:

  • ply
  • fly
  • sly
  • wry
  • cry
  • dry
  • fry
  • pry
  • try

There are more words with the long i but you have to limit your examples to the children so that they can understand the lesson better. If the children are given too many words to read, the more they cannot absorb their lesson.

Children who are not English speakers can only catch and understand words that they always hear around. If you introduce too many words that they haven’t even heard; they will easily forget these words and it would be useless.

To help the children understand the lesson, you need to utilize various teaching aids like pictures, flash cards, real objects if possible, video if you can produce one and drawings.

Explaining the meaning of words does not suffice for the children to understand what you are talking about. You need to act the words out, show some pictures or actual objects or you can let them watch a video.


Read the words with the long i sound.

long i

bike dice lime mike mice pine side
dike hike line mile nice rice tile
dime hide life mime Nile ride tide
bile like lice mine pile rite time
vile vibe wise wide wine smile while
bite white hive strive swine blind wife
pie tie lie die vie

why by bye dye lye sky sty style

light fight night might slight high sigh

Read the sentences.

The wise man with a tie has a wide smile.

Mike will ride the big bike.

I like to put spice in my wine.

The mine is wide.
The mice are inside the dike.
Mother baked a pie last night.
The moon shines at night.

More Activities for Long I:


Using flash cards for reading will make reading more convenient, alive and fun. This will also train the children to read fast with fluency. If you want the children to read fast, use flash cards with pictures. After the children have understood the words, remove the pictures so they can memorize the words and retain them.


Giving contest to children will motivate them to do their best because every child wants to be a winner. But you have to reward all the children in order to avoid the feeling of discrimination among the young children.

This contest is a good way to train children to read fast. They will also develop their memory skills.

This is what you will do. Let three children stand at the back of the classroom. Tell them to read the words you are going to flash. Every time they read the word correctly, they will move one step forward. Those who cannot read the word will not step forward. The first one to reach the front will win. Remember to praise all the children.

Story Time

Let the children read a story using the long i words then ask them questions. If the children understood what they read they will answer your questions correctly; otherwise you have to relate the story to them and make them understand the story if they cannot answer you.. For children who do not speak the English language, reading and understanding the story is a difficult task. Help them out by telling them the story.


Worksheet Exercises

Written exercises are also assessment tools. This is one way of finding out if the children have learned something from their lesson. If the result of the exercises is good then you should be thankful that the children have understood their lesson. If the result is poor, you need to put on extra work so that the children will understand the lesson.

Always allow the children to learn on their own by providing activities that help them develop their skills. The more activities you give, the better.

Here are directions for activity sheets that you can give the children.

  • Color all the pictures that begin with letter I.
  • Ring the picture that begins with letter I.
  • Box the initial letter of the given picture.
  • Match the picture to the initial sound.
  • Box all the letter I.



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