Printable AI Words Phonics Worksheets

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AI words have the long vowel /A/ sound. English words do not use AI at the end of a word.

Hint: If we say /A/ at the end of an English word, we usually do not use AI, but AY.

After silent final e making an A say /A/, AI is the most common long A sound phonogram or digraph vowel pair (two letters).

Use your favorite phonics program for rules, syllabication, and lesson plans; then use these PDF worksheets for review and practice.

There is space on the second page for dictation and review of other words.

Print K123 two-up for middle school children to have smaller lines.

It looks like a lot less work to the kids and actually improves their penmanship not to have to make large letters.

See more ideas below.


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You model the sounds and do the dictation, then the kids practice.

Your kids will have plenty of phonics practice for

  • Phonograms, 
  • Blends, 
  • Digraphs, and More.

Printable alphabet flash cards included.



Learning Phonics AI Words

Long A Rule: A usually says /A/ at the end of a syllable, when followed by one consonant and silent final e, or when followed by i or y in a digraph phonogram (AI, AY).

End Syllable

la zy

cra zy

ha zy

Silent E: A-E

ace

age

ate

AI Words

bait

nail

rain

End AY Words

day

pay

say

AI and AY words usually say the long vowel A sound. AIGH says the long vowel A sound as in straight. Otherwise, you can think of GH as being silent.

Explain that there are silent letters that make other letters say a different sound. Here the A says /A/ because of the i. It's not really a blend because letters in blends keep their original sounds.


Our AI words worksheets have two size levels, or you can print the first one two-up for older students to have a small and elegant size:

  1. Kindergarten AI Words Large Font - K-2, print 2-up for middle school.
  2. Third Grade AI Words Small Font - Great size for grades 3-6.

Choose the size that works for your children. It's handy to have the different sizes to teach phonics to several aged children.



Teaching Phonics: Dictation List of Words

As you're teaching the phonogram AI, dictate these words for your children to write into their notebooks. If you're not using notebooks, simply use plain paper. The main thing is to have practice writing the /A/ using the AI digraph. Our AI worksheets are a great for review or a homework lesson. 

Next is a list of AI words with sample sentences to help the children understand the vocabulary or to write from dictation. Most of these sentences use simple words for dictation.

AI Words With Sample Sentences

List of AI words with sample sentences to help the children understand the vocabulary or to write from dictation. Most of these sentences use simple words for dictation.

again – Play the game again.

bait – The boy put the bait in the trap.

braid – She will braid her hair today.

chair – Papa bear had the big chair.

grain – Corn, oats, and wheat are grain.

hair –  Comb your hair each day.

jail – Be good and stay out of jail.

laid – She laid her baby in the crib.

lain – The gold coin had lain in the ground.

mail – I love to get mail from the post office.

nail – The man fixed it with a hammer and nail.

paid – The lady paid her bills.

pain – Pain hurts.

paint – I painted my walls light green.

plait – She will plait her hair into a braid.

quail – Quail are cute birds in nature.

rail – Hold on to the rail in the stairway.

rain – Piglet saw the rain fill the puddles.

sail – Columbus did sail across the sea.

saint – A saint was a very good person.

stair – Baby will climb one stair at a time.

stairway – Keep baby off the stairway.

trail – I like to climb a trail in the woods.

wait – Wait till I can go with you.

Sometimes we see words that are pronounced differently. They have an unusual or irregular pronunciation. Words where AI does not say /A/ are: said, plaid, and sometimes plait. 

In England they say AI with the long vowel sound in the word again. You can teach the word that way so kids can remember how to say it, although in the United States we say it with a short vowel sound.

Unusual pronunciations can be confusing to ESL students, and also to those of us who speak English as EFL students. You simply have to learn these words as you go.

Using AI And AY Worksheets

You can add these AY worksheets to your lesson plans, yet my recommendation is to be sure to teach the rule that we do not use AI at the end of a word and that we use AY to say /A/ at the end of a word.

If you mention that, "The dot may not" your children may understand this quickly. An I has a dot which means it may not be used at the end of an English word.

Long A AI, and AY worksheets can be taught together if the children understand why the y must be at the end of the word: basically, we do not end an English word in i.

Interactive Phonics Worksheets

You can print these PDF printables or store them in a file for your child's phonics lessons and exercises. Whether they read the lists, write the words, or type the words, they'll have excellent phonics practice. 

You are also free to use them as PowerPoint presentations (PPT). Learn how these PDF printables are interactive here.

How To Teach Phonics With More Free Phonics Worksheets

You'll find more than forty free phonics worksheets on our main phonics page. 

I also list my favorite phonics kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade, phonics books, activities, and videos from the same page.

You might like to know that these next worksheets are available in both manuscript and cursive worksheets:


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