Since this AI Words page is the first of more than forty phonics worksheets, I am adding photos of ways to use them with different aged students. See the following sections:
Ai words have the long vowel /A/ sound. English words do not use AI at the end of a word, because English words do not end in i.
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.
If you would like, you can print these free phonics flash cards.
There is space on the second page for dictation and review of other words.
Print the K123 version 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 many more ideas and dictation notes below.
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).
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:
Choose the size that works for your children. It's handy to have the different sizes to teach phonics to several aged children.
As you're teaching the phonogram AI, dictate the following 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.
When you're teaching the AI sound, have your students find the AI phonogram in the words on the worksheet.
Have them underline the letter pair from the edge of the A to the edge of the I so the underlining stays neat and tidy.
You can see the underlining in this next photo where the pencil is pointing in the word grain.
Practice sounding out the phonograms for each of the words or as many as you would like to assign.
Sometimes a few well learned is better than a long hard drill.
Next have the children say the sounds as thy write them. Copying the words three times each is an easy task and can be finished quickly. Copy work is easy. Keep it quick.
A further review or recap is to underline the phonogram in each of the copied words.
Remembering to say the sounds of the phonograms as you go is the trick to remembering how to spell the words.
The next photo shows writing the AI words for practice.
The next photo shows using the next level up for 4th through 6th grade. The font size is smaller so more words fit on the paper and children have a more mature letter size.
Another exercise for older students is to think of derivative words, words that are related. Put them in the extra column.
This is an excellent exercise for teaching longer words and compound words. It grows vocabulary fast!
Dictate these or simply coach your students through the sounds. When they think through the sounds in order, they build their future reading skills.
Go to our AY worksheets page to teach using the long vowel A at the end of a word.
You can add these AY worksheets to your lesson plans.
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.
Otherwise teach AY words separately.
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.
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 many of these next worksheets are available in both manuscript and cursive worksheets:
Buy the bundle of our online phonics worksheets in one digital download for ad-free access to phonics practice for your elementary school students at school or at home.
BONUS: It includes our cursive writing worksheets.
Homeschool worksheets for spelling practice and Robert Louis Stevenson's poetry handwriting worksheets make great ESL printable worksheets. Enjoy!