AY words have the long vowel /A/ sound. English words may use the long vowel AY phoneme at the end of a word.
Hint: If we say /A/ at the end of an English word, we usually use AY.
AY is the most common long A digraph used at the end of English words. Digraphs use two letters to make one sound with no blending.
Use your favorite phonics books for rules and syllabication, and then use these PDF worksheets for review. There are three pages for practice or homework.
Print the first one two up for middle school children to have smaller lines like handwriting worksheets. It looks like a lot less work to the kids and can improve their penmanship.
These long vowel sounds worksheets give your kids practice writing the phonogram AY. You can have confidence that the words are spelled well for them to copy three times each. You'll see your best results if you can also get them to say the sounds as they write the letters and phonograms.
The y makes the a say /A/. Its pronunciation is not a consonant blend, but a silent letter in a digraph. If you're using these as ESL phonics worksheets, point out that your students can say AY almost like they usually say the letter e in their first language. AY almost always says the long vowel /A/ sound.
Orton based phonogram exercises use phonemes as clues to what words say. If we already speak English, we've got the code. If your kids do not speak English as their first language, make the associations between the long vowel sounds and their usual way of pronouncing the very same words.
Remember the days of the week as an easy way to practice ay words because they are compound words that use the word day. They rhyme too.
The long vowel phoneme AY lends itself perfectly to rhyming. Finding a poem or asking the children to invent their own poetry can help them remember when to use the AY digraph.
Here it is important to teach the rule:
AY Phonics Rule:
This is one of those phonics rules that applies to other phonograms that end with y. Why? It's based on another phonics and spelling rule: We do not end an English word in i, c, j, q, u, or v.
You can emphasize to the children that the spelling that may not be used at the end of a word has a dot, a dot over the i.
When ending AY words with a vowel suffix we do not change the y to i because it is not a single letter y preceded by a consonant. The Y changing suffix rule is for words that end with a consonant plus y.
Choose the size font that works for your students. It's handy to have the different sizes to teach phonics to several ages.
As you're teaching the AY phonogram, dictate these words for your children to write into their notebooks or simply have them use loose leaf paper. The main thing is to have practice writing the /ay/ sound "by ear", from the sound. The AY worksheets above are a nice homework lesson for additional practice.
Here are some simple sentences to help you teach the vocabulary of each word you dictate. It's a good idea to always cover the vocabulary of the words you teach at least casually.
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 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!