throw a birthday party


Read and write words spelled with the digraph th.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • birthday
  • three
  • thirteen
  • thirty
  • thousand


  • Pictures of birthday cakes with candles (see below)
  • Word cards (see below)
  • Birthday Cake target text (see below)
  • Plates, napkins, forks (13 of each)
  • Cake (optional)


State and model the objective
Tell the children they will practice writing numbers that start with the letters th as they count candles on birthday cakes.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Count birthday candles
    • Write three, thirteen, and thirty on the board and point out that the letters th in each word make the /th/ sound.
    • Show the children the pictures of a birthday cakes with candles (see below).
    • Have the children count the number of candles on the cakes.
    • Help the children write the word that represents the number of candles (i.e., three, thirteen, and thirty) in the blank under each cake.
  • Throw a birthday party
    • Have the children pretend to throw a birthday party for three people.
    • Help the children make signs with arrows for the party: This Way! That Way! Birthday Party Over There!
    • Ask the children to set up the signs in a path to the party.
    • Let the children set out three plates, forks, and napkins.
    • Instruct the children to write, “There are three kids at the birthday party.”
    • Repeat the activity, allowing the children throw a birthday party for thirteen people.
    • Let the children to eat cake at a pretend birthday party (optional).

Apply the skill

  • Read target words in texts
    • Read the target text Birthday Cake (see below) to the children.
    • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with th.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Help the children create a word wall (or use one previously created) of words spelled with th (i.e., birthday, three, thirteen, thirty, path, this, that, there).
    • Have the children write a sentence about counting candles on a birthday cake (e.g., I count three candles on a birthday cake).


SEEL Target Texts

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Birthday Cake

There is a birthday cake with three candles.
That kid is three years old!
There is another birthday cake with thirteen candles.
That girl is thirteen years old!
There is another birthday cake with thirty candles.
That man is thirty years old!
Have you seen a cake with a thousand candles?
Me, neither.



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.A: Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.