Y to i

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SWBAT read and sort words that involve changing y to i.

Big Idea

Songs, chants, and motions make this lesson motivating and engaging for the student as they learn about changing y to i.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

The Reading Foundational Skill for Phonics and Word Recognition states that students should know and apply grade level phonics skills in decoding words. In addition, RF.1.3f state that the students must learn to read words with inflectional endings.  In this lesson students use read a variety of words with inflectional endings.

This lesson is one of the essential components of first grade, because I am teaching decoding. Decoding is a skill that really helps students develop their fluency. Once students increase their fluency it is much easier for there to comprehend text, because they are not longer focused on decoding. 

Lesson Overview

In the guided practice the class listens to me explain some rules for changing y to i. I go over the poster I made, and we generate some words we can change y to i in. Then the students do a word sort practicing reading words that have y changed to i. They also sort the words into two categories. The words that change y to i, and the words that do not.

I have two strategies that I find very helpful in making my lessons flow smoothly. I use heterogeneous ability grouping: peanut butter jelly partner, and frequent transitions: transition.


I tell the class that we are going to do some magic today.  I take my scarf off and make a "Y" with it.  Then I tell them to make a y with their body.  I take my scarf and turn it into an "I." Then I show them how to turn their body into an i.  I say, "I can turn y into i."  They echo, tell a friend, then repeat it with me.  The repetition helps memory, when they say it they are doing something, and telling a friend makes it personal.

Then I ask them to make a "Y" with their body (y to i).  Then change it to an "I." I find using gestures and body motions helpful in developing an understanding of new material.

Now, I explain that we are going to read, sort, and write sentences with words that change y to i. The class chants the goal: I can read words that change y to i.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

We sing the song a couple times (y to i song).  Then we go over the rules for changing y to i (y to i rules and sample words).  They discuss with their partner words they know that have y changing to i. Then I allow volunteers to share and I write them on the poster (y to i poster).  We read this poster as a review at the beginning of every phonics lesson.  The repetition builds the memory.  This is the first time they are being told this information, and they need a lot of review in the first grade.

Partner Work

15 minutes

I allow them to get into groups and sort words that change y to i and words that do not. I get the words for the list from our word list that is in the guided practice section, and I just write them on sticky notes. Sorting and categorizing give them practice with this skill. They use words that changes y to i in a sentence.  This allows them to apply their knowledge to an activity, but it also gives the class a chance to read words with inflectional endings.

Student Reflection

10 minutes

I like to allow them to practice their listening and speaking skills at the end of most lesson.  Common Core shifts focus on listening and speaking.  Two or three students volunteer to share their sentence.  They are encouraged to always speak in complete sentences, which helps their writing tremendously.  I love first graders writing because they write just like they speak. 

So, I say, "Sit criss cross applesauce pockets on the floor hands in your laps talking no more. Eyes on speaker, listening to what the speaker is saying, and speakers talk loud."


5 minutes

They write on word they know that changes y to i on a post it.  Most of them have figured out that the poster on the wall has some choices so I try to keep them from looking at it.  The purpose of the tweet exit ticket is to assess what they learned. So, they have to read the word as they place it on the Tweet Board.  I want to see what they can read.  At this point, I already knew they needed a lot of work, but, just to be sure who specifically needed the help, I did the tweet exit ticket.

Then we chant: I can read and sort words that change y to i. This helps the class remember the lesson goal.