A Turtle Can Surf

A Turtle Can Surf
Target text


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spelling -ur

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • surf
  • blur
  • curl
  • hurt
  • turn
  • churn
  • turtle 


  • Turtle graphic
  • Surfboard graphic 
  • A Turtle Can Surf target text
  • The Turtle Likes to Surf target text
  • Blue paper, cloth, or blanket (optional)
  • Paper fan (optional)
  • Surfer graphic (optional)

State and Model the Objective
The children will help a turtle surf and then read and write words spelled with -ur, such as turtle, surf, blur, hurt, and curl.
Literacy Activities
Learn to surf

  • Make waves in an ocean by moving a slack piece of blue paper or cloth up and down. 
  • Explain that to surf means to ride on a wave with a surfboard.
  • Ask the children if they have seen a surfer, then show them how to surf and let the children pretend to surf.

Help the turtle surf

  • Attach the surfboard graphic to the turtle and tell the children that they will help the turtle surf.
  • Let the children make a wave and move the turtle to make it surf.
  • Have the children read the A Turtle Can Surf target text and enact the story with the cutouts. 
  • Move the paper turtle so fast that it is a blur.

More Practice
Read target words in a text

  • Read The Turtle Likes to Surf target text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Have the children circle words spelled with -ur.
  • Read the text again, fading support.

Word charades: write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Put the children in groups of four and give two word cards to each group.
  • Have one child act out their word while the other children guess the word.
  • Tell the children to pass the word card to the next group when it is finished so that the next group can act out the word.
  • Ask if any groups would like to act out one of their words for the class to guess.
  • Let the children write words as you say them: turtle, surf, blur, hurt, churn, turn, curl, hurl.
  • Have the children write about the surfing turtle (e.g., “A turtle surfs. The waves curl and churn.”).
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SEEL Target Texts

A Turtle Likes to Surf

A turtle likes to surf.
The surfing turtle owns a surfboard.
The surfboard hurls through the water.
The waves curl and churn.
The surf makes the surfboard turn and churn.  
The turtle surfs so fast that it looks like a blur.

A Turtle Can Surf

I know a turtle who can surf.
When it surfs, all you see is a blur.
The turtle is so fast! 
It rides the waves that curl and churn.
I hope the turtle doesn't get hurt!
But it looks like fun. I'd like a turn!
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.