Stay and Play

Stay and Play
Target text


Read and write words that end with the long a sound spelled -ay.

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Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • may
  • day
  • say
  • play
  • stay
  • sway
  • away


  • Command signs for dogs*
  • Fill-in-the-blank cards*
  • Kay Learns to Stay and Play target text*
  • Play with Kay target text*

*Items included below.


State and Model the Objective
The children will teach a dog how to play and stay and will read and write words that end with -ay, such as say, day, may, and sway 

Literacy Activities 
Stay and play

  • Explain to the children that they will teach a dog some tricks.
  • Engage the children in reading the Kay Learns to Stay and Play target text (found below).
  • Have the children read and make the hand signs for the commands to be given to Kay (e.g., “Stay,” “Jump this way,” “Play dead,” and “Say ‘woof!’”).
  • Let the children take turns reading the commands in the text and making a dog act out the commands. 

Complete “May I . . .” questions using target words

  • Explain that using “May I” is a polite way to ask if you can do something. 
  • Display an incomplete “May I” question on the board (i.e., “May I ___ today?”).
  • Invite a child to choose a word or phrase (found below) to insert in the fill-in-the-blank question such as “May I ____(play)?”
  • Respond to the children's requests with “Yes, you may.” or “No, today you may not.” 

More Practice
Read target words in texts 

  • Read the Play with Kay target text (found below) to the children and emphasize the -ay ending.
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ay.

Write about the activity using target words

  • Display a list of -ay words (e.g., play, stay, day, way, today, lay, Kay, sway, stay, away).
  • Have the children use the list to write two or three sentences about teaching Kay, the dog (e.g., “Kay likes to play. Kay doesn’t like to stay.”).
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.