Fill and Spill

Fill and Spill
Target text


Read and write words ending with the double-letter combination -ll.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • fill
  • will
  • spill 
  • still
  • skill
  • thrill


  • Containers to fill (e.g., lids, cups, bottles)
  • A tray, bowl, or cloth 
  • Scoops, cups, or spoons
  • Fillings (e.g., water, sand, rice, buttons, dried beans)
  • Funnel (or paper rolled into a cone)
  • Word-building cards*
  • Fill and Spill target text* 
  • Hold Still and Don’t Spill target text*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will fill containers while trying not to spill and then read and write words that end in -ll, such as spill, fill, will, thrill, skill, and still.

Literacy Activities
Fill containers and spill the contents

  • Set out containers over a tray, bowl, or cloth to catch what spills.
  • Write the words fill, spill, fill, will, thrill, skill, and still on the board and point out that the double ll at the end makes the /l/ sound.
  • Let the children take turns using a spoon to fill a small container with one of the fillings.
  • Ask the children if they think they will fill up the container or spill the fillings.
  • Have the children try to fill another container with the spilled fillings.

It’s a skill to fill without a spill

  • Talk about how it takes a little skill to fill and not spill.
  • Use a funnel to fill a bottle with another filling.
  • Let the children take turns to skillfully use the funnel to try to fill and not spill. 

Make a hill as you spill

  • Add the word hill to the board, point out the -ll ending, and ask the children if they can make a hill from a spill.
  • Demonstrate trying to make a hill by pouring some fillings through a funnel.
  • Spill the fillings in a slow stream and comment on what a thrill it is to spill and make a hill.

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds 

  • With the word-building cards (found below), have the children create new words by changing the beginning consonant(s):
    • Change the beginning consonant(s): fill pill, thrill skill, ball mall
    • Change the vowel: billball, tell till, fill fall
  • Ask the children to write down each word they make and read their list of words to a partner.

Read target words in texts 

  • Engage the children in reading the Fill and Spill target text (found below) with you.
  • Have the children underline the words that end in -ll.
  • Read Hold Still and Don’t Spill (found below) with the children and gradually fade support.

Write about the activity using target words

  • Let the children write words from dictation (e.g., spill, fill, will, thrill, skill, till, still).
  • Engage in interactive writing by providing sentence frames for the children to complete. 
  • I like to ____(fill) and try not to ____(spill).
  • We have to have  ____(skill) to ____(fill)  and not ____(spill).
  • We had to hold ____(still) and try not to ____(spill).
  • We got to ____(fill) a cup.
  • We had to hold ____(still) and try not to ____(spill).
  • If you spill slowly the beans can form a ____(hill).
Read More

SEEL Target Texts

Fill and Spill

Let’s fill and spill.
Fill a cup with beans.
Fill the cup till it’s full.
Then spill the beans and see if they will make a hill.
Will the spill turn into a hill?
What a thrill to fill, spill, and make a hill!

Hold Still and Don’t Spill

Try to fill a cup with beans.
Will the beans spill?
Hold still and try not to spill.
Be still so you won’t spill.
It takes skill to fill and not spill!
I get a thrill when I don’t spill.
Read More



SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.