a smile or a smirk?

A Smile or a Smirk?

A Smile or a Smirk?
Target text


Read, write, and identify words that begin with the /sm/ blend.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • smear
  • smidge
  • smile
  • smirk
  • smock


  • Chalk
  • Colored paper
  • Lips graphic 
  • A Smile or a Smirk story
  • Direction cards graphic 
  • Smocks (optional)

State and Model the Objective
The children will make smiles and smirks as they read and write words that begin with /sm/, such as smock, smile, smirk, and smug.

Literacy Activities
Make a smile and smirk

  • Call attention to the /sm/ blend in smock, smile, smirk, and smug 
  • Talk about facial expressions that begin with /sm/: smile, smirk, smack, and look smug.
  • Pretend to put on an artist’s smock and draw a smile with chalk.
  • Make the smile smooth by rubbing the chalk with your finger.
  • Smear a smidgen of chalk on the paper to change the expression from a smile into a smirk (small downward turn on one side).
  • Instruct the children to put on a pretend smock and smear, smudge, and smooth out a smile.
  • Show the children a smug expression and have them draw classmates’ smug faces.

Make paper lips smile, smirk, smack, look smug

  • Use the lips graphic and make a slit so the lips can be twisted or pulled to smile, smirk, smack, or be smug.
  • Hold up a direction card, have the children read the word and then make their lips do what the sign says.
  • Let the children draw a smile, smirk, or smug expression with chalk (optional).

More Practice
Read target words in a text

  • Read A Smile or a Smirk text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the text with you.
  • Read the text again with the children, fading support.
  • Have the children list and read words that start with the /sm/ blend (e.g., smart, smock, smudge, smack, smile, smell, smidge, small, smudge, smug, smear).

Write about the activity

  • Have the children write 1–2 sentences using words from the list they made above (e.g., Smooth the smile).
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SEEL Target Texts

The Perfect Smile

He was an artist, a smart artist.
He was a smart artist who wanted to paint a smile.
He put on his smock and opened his smelly paints.
He was ready to paint the perfect smile.
He added a smidge of paint.
But the smile was too small.
He smudged the paint.
Now the smile had a smear!
He smoothed out the smear and added a smidge of paint.
He smudged the paint and smoothed out the line.
He smeared on more paint.
Ah! He looked at his work and felt smug.
The perfect smile!
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.