a girl with dirt on her skirt

A Girl with Dirt on Her Skirt

A Girl with Dirt on Her Skirt
Target text


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spelling -ir.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • dirt
  • girl
  • shirt
  • skirt
  • first
  • squirt
  • squirm


  • Spray bottle 
  • Dirt
  • Paper-doll graphics
  • Shirt graphics 
  • Plastic sheet protector 
  • I Got Dirt on My Shirt! reader's theater script 
  • How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt? target text

State and Model the Objective
The children will pretend to get dirt on a shirt and skirt and then read and write words spelled with -ir such as, squirt, dirt, shirt, skirt, girl, and first.
Literacy Activities 
Let a girl twirl and swirl in dirt

  • Put a paper doll in a plastic sheet protector, and tell the children that the girl will twirl, whirl, and swirl around in dirt.
  • Put a little dirt on the girl’s skirt and shirt as she twirls, whirls, and swirls in the dirt.
  • Let the children squirt water on the girl's shirt and skirt to clean off the dirt.

Engage children in reading and acting 

  • Read the I Got Dirt on My Shirt! target text to the children.
  • Give some of the children shirt graphics in plastic sheet protectors, and give one child a squirt bottle.
  • Read the target text again, this time inviting the children to act it out. 

More Practice 
Read target texts

  • Tell the children to use their paper dolls to act out the How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt? target text as it’s being read out loud. 
  • Invite the children to read the target text, fading support.

Find the skirt and shirt

  • Separate the children into groups and give each group a stack of picture cards.
  • Assign one child from each group to hide the picture cards in the dirt while the other children close their eyes.
  • Tell the children to look for the picture cards, and to put the r-controlled vowel -ir picture cards (e.g., shirt and skirt) into one pile while placing the other cards into a discard pile.
  • Discuss as a class which picture cards have the r-controlled vowel -ir.
  • Repeat the game as many times as desired, allowing the children to take turns hiding the picture cards.

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Let the children write words as you say them: squirt, dirt, skirt, shirt, girl.
  • Ask the children to write about the skirt (e.g., “I can squirt dirt off the shirt. I had a shirt with dirt.”).
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SEEL Target Texts

How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt?

Here comes a girl with dirt on her shirt.
A dirty shirt!
How did the girl get such a dirty shirt?
She must have twirled and swirled in the dirt. 
We can squirt the shirt to get the dirt off.
We can squirt the dirt off her shirt.
Now the shirt has no dirt.
It isn't a dirty shirt.
The girl can twirl and swirl—but not in the dirt. 
Don't get dirt on your shirt!

I Got Dirt on My Shirt!

Child 1: Drat! I got dirt on my shirt.
Pretend to skip in dirt and get dirt on shirt
Child 2: I'll squirt the dirt off your shirt.
Pretend to squirt dirt off Child 1's shirt.
Child 1: You got the dirt off my shirt!
Child 2 twirls in excitement and gets dirt on his or her shirt.
Child 2: Hey, I twirled and swirled in the dirt and got dirt on my shirt!
Show Child 1 dirt on shirt.
Child 1: I can get the dirt off your shirt. Hold still. Don't squirm.
Pretend to squirt dirt off Child 2's shirt. 
Child 2: You got the dirt off my shirt! Now we can whirl, twirl, and swirl.
Child 2 starts to twirl.
Child 1: But let's not whirl, twirl, and swirl in the dirt!
Child 1 starts to whirl. 


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