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Alphabet Letter I and the /i/ Sound

Teaching Short Vowels & Sounds

Here, we have the third vowel of the alphabet, and it makes an /i/ "ih" sound. As with all the other vowels, we first teach the "short" sound, and teach the "long" sound later on. The short sound of I sounds like "ih", and the long sound sounds just like its name "I" (eye).

There are some similarities between this short /i/ sound and the short /e/ sound, so you should pay attention to the differences these 2 vowel sounds make.

To make the "ih" (/i/) sound, the tip of your tongue touches just behind your bottom teeth while the middle part of your tongue raises up toward the roof of the mouth. Say "ih, ih, ih" several times.

Try these following words and try to isolate and hear the /i/ sound in each word:

IF - /i/ /f/

IN - /i/ /n/

BIT - /b/ /i/ /t/

Learning Activity for /i/

  1. Show your child the capital letter "I" and lower-case "i", and demonstrate how to make the /i/ "ih" sound.
  2. Ask the child the repeat the "ih" sound several times and then ask what sound does letter I make?
  3. Work on some words that contain the letter I. Ask the child if he or she can think of any words that contain the letter I and the /i/ sound.
  4. Here are some word suggestions:
    • IS
    • IT
    • IN
    • BIN
    • FIT
    • INCH
  5. Printout and work on the worksheet provided below for letter I.
  6. Read the rhyme provided below.

Letter I Worksheets

Below is the worksheet for letter I and its /i/ sound.


Letter I Rhyme and Song

The itty bitty iguana, ih ih ih.

The itty bitty iguana is one inch long,

but it is fit and it is strong.

The itty bitty iguana, ih ih ih.

If the itty bitty iguana climbed into the bin,

Then is it in the bin?

Yes, yes, it is in the bin!