Jolly Phonics: Letter sound /i/

For some unknown reason, Xxm had a particular fondness for Inky the mouse, the main character for /i/.

Like always, I begin by showing him the relevant page from his finger phonics book. Alas, I was not very well prepared for this lesson. I tried to sing him the jolly song for /i/, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t recall beyond the first line of the jingle. I had just finished my TCM Semestral examinations the day before and honestly, my brain was feeling very fatigued. As I floundered through the song, I sent Xxm into fits of laughter. He was enjoying seeing Mummy tripping over her words. And guess what, this was what made the lesson even more enjoyable for him. I made him love Inky even more.

Jolly Songs

Sung to the tune of Hickory Dickory Dock

Inky the mouse is my pet.
She spilled the ink and got wet.
The ink it spread all over the desk.
/i/-/i/-/i/-/i/-Inky’s wet!


Zack has a white pet mouse. She lives in a cage on the desk in his bedroom. One evening, Zack forgets to close the cage door properly. The little mouse climbs out of her cage and starts looking around the desk. Suddenly, she sees the cat watching her. She squeaks, “i, i, i” and quickly runs across the top of the desk. Crash! She bumps into a bottle of ink and knocks it over. As the bottle falls, the lid comes off, and the ink spills out everywhere, even over the little mouse. The mouse keeps on running as fast as she can, scampering off the desk and across the room to a mouse hole she had seen from her cage. Safe in her mouse hole, she scrubs and scrubs at her fur, but she cannot gets all the ink off. She decides that from now on she will make the mouse hole her new home and calls herself ” Inky Mouse”. In the morning, Zack finds the mouse missing and sees a little set of inky footprints across the carpet, leading from the desk to the little mouse hole.


Wiggle fingers on the end of the nose, like whiskers saying, “i, i, i”. Xxm has so far ignored all the actions from the Jolly Phonics series.


I explained how the letter i is written, reminding Xxm not to forget the dot at the top.


We watched the following video together. This nicely done video shows how the letter sounds in Group 1 are blended together. The use of the Jolly character puppets in the video appealed very much to Xxm. He actually re-watched this video on his own accord several times.


He completed the i page from the Usborne abc sticker book, learning i is for ice-cream, insect, island and ink.

While learning /t/, he was not keen on working on his Jolly Phonics activity book so I did not push him further. However, this week he was different. We actually completed all the pages we couldn’t do for /t/.

The activity book included some letter sounds identification exercise concentrating on the three previously taught letter sounds /s/, /a/ and /t/. I did not think he understood this exercise, but he got almost all the letter sounds correct. I was truly surprised.


Then, all of a sudden, he started sounding out /s/, /a/ and /t/ while pointing to the three letters at the bottom of the page. He was imitating the youtube video that I showed him. I prompted him to say it faster and sounded out /sat/ for him. He was real happy of his achievement!


He coloured the pages from his activity book. I can see some improvement in his colouring. You can see he was trying to colour the mouse blue, the ant purple and the camera green. It’s unlike before where he will randomly colour anywhere in the page.

This craft was suggested in the activity book – to make inky fingerprints. Cute, isn’t it?


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