I isn't a particularly common initial letter, but when it shows up, it counts. The short, simple words beginning with I form much of the foundation of English; the language wouldn't function without I, it and is. In addition, prefixes like im- and in- begin many words and, better yet, are a starting point for students to break down words into their meaningful components. We've written this list of I words to empower educators. Use our definitions and activities to help your students, preschool to 4th grade, enhance their vocabulary with I words for kids.
The first priority of pre-literate readers is to get them to recognize the letter. You can do this by giving them fun words they can easily remember with pictures. And, I gives you ample fun words like ice cream and Iron Man.
Activities for this age should focus on the vital link between the spoken sound and the written symbol I. We've created a trace-the-letter exercise with that in mind.
When it comes to early literacy, it’s important to have a solid foundation. Kindergarten I words are going beyond easy sight words to beginning words to build sentences and phonics. Teaching foundational words like I, it, in, and is are important. You'll also begin to delve into the short vowel sound found in igloo and long vowel sound found in ice. Explore this list of I words for kids.
- I: Me, the person you are
- I'll: Short for I will
- I'm: Short for I am
- Idea: A thought, belief or concept, especially if it's new
- If: In case of
- Ill: Sick, not feeling well
- In: Enclosed by, like being in the car
- Inside: To be within
- Into: Going inside something
- Is: Exists is real
- Isn't: Short for is not
- It: Any nonliving thing
- It's: Short for it is, different from its
- Its: The possessive form of it
Since kindergarteners are just starting to get a good grasp on phonics and early reading skills, it’s important to test their knowledge through fun, colorful worksheets. Use this worksheet to see if your kindergarteners can match the word to the picture.
I words for kids matching activityClick to View & Download
Many of the words on this list for 1st and 2nd grade students require specific distinctions: a spider is not an insect. Get students talking about what a word isn't, and you'll have established a more detailed and specific idea of what it is. To get you started, look at these I words for kids.
- Illegal: Against the law
- Imagine: To make a mental image; to think of something
- Important: Mattering a lot, having a big effect
- Indeed: Truly, definitely, for sure
- Index: A list of where to find certain subjects in a book, or to make such a list
- Instead: In place of
- Instrument: A tool for doing work, in particular, a tool a musician uses to make music
- Invent: To create or think of something for the first time
- Iris: A flower, or the colored part of the eye around the pupil
- Iron: A metal used to make steel
- Itself: A form of the word it that adds emphasis
Drawing exercises can be very useful, as they anchor some of the abstractions to meaningful images. After going over the words a few times, students could draw the words without including the words themselves, then have other students guess what they represent.
Build an is/isn't worksheet for your students to help them firm up their understanding of words and their definitions. Download the example PDF below to get started.
Letter i what am i quizClick to View & Download
Several of our 3rd, 4th and 5th grade words are multisyllabic ways of stating concepts your students likely already understand. Link these words to ideas and idioms they already use — intend to mean to or imitate to act like — to engage their associative capacity and drive home meaning. This is also where students can begin to engage with the text as a whole, comparing and contrasting what they're learning with what they already know.
- Ignorant: Lacking in knowledge, unaware of
- Imitate: To copy or act like
- Immediate: Now; happening right away
- Impact: The effect one thing has on another, often by crashing into it
- Impossible: Something that cannot be done
- Impulse: Strong, sudden urge
- Increase: To make larger or make more of, to grow
- Independent: Free, unaffected by anything else
- Indicate: To point something out or show it
- Individual: Only one of, single
- Inference: An educated guess, the answer you give after you've thought something through
- Influence: How much power someone has over something
- Injure: To hurt someone physically or mentally
- Inspire: To motivate, to make excited
- Instant: A very short period of time or something happening quickly
- Intend: To plan to do or have a purpose for something
- Interest: To pay attention to something or draw someone else's attention to something
- Interpret: To understand and explain what something means
- Invisible: Unable to be seen
- Item: A particular object or idea
Linking activities could include a participatory game of Another Way to Say. Each student could receive our list of I words, and the teacher could ask "What's another way to say 'mean to'?" seeking the answer, intend.
As noted above, words beginning with I serve a unique role in English. Our I words list is built for students to engage with I words on that level and come away with a richer understanding of the language. In need of even more interesting I words? Use WordFinder's list of words that start with the letter I to build from the words above. You can fill out the advanced search to ensure that your words are the correct length for each individual's skill level. For more vocabulary, complete with fun activities, check out our list of vocabulary words beginning with J!