Exploring the Reading Code: AI Makes an A

This week, I had the pleasure of catching up with my friend Judy at Wordy Worm Reading. I filled her in on how my daughter is starting to build words with the moveable alphabet (she’s 3 ½ and has built the words mom and pig in my presence, possibly others at school.)


Judy suggested that now would be a good time to teach some of the multi-letter vowel phonograms such as ‘ai’ and ‘ee’, which are great for beginners because they make just one sound.

So, I started today with the ai phonogram, following tips from the Wordy Worm program. While Stella napped, I set up some “clues” for the ai phonogram on her desk. When she woke up, she joined me at her desk where we sang the Wordy Worm ditty for ai.


Next, my daughter chose to decorate the origami sailboat (pattern via on her tray with crayons and glue. I also drew out the ai phonogram on a piece of paper for her to color, but she was far more attracted to working with the sailboat. While she decorated the boat, I wrote down the ai words from the ditty on a dry erase board. She asked me to “add snail” to the list, so I did:


Later for bath time, I filled the pail with the p-a-i and l souns letters and invited my daughter to wash them (as seen on the Souns Talk Weblog). She happily accepted and while she washed them, we sang the ditty for ai together a couple more times.


We ended the night with story time. We read three books, including a perfect book for teaching the ai phonogram called Tails by Matthew Van Fleet.


Do you know of any other good books with lots of occurrences of the ai phonogram? If so, share them in the comments.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue our study of the ai phonogram by checking the mail together.


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