whirl and swirl

Whirl and Swirl

Whirl and Swirl
Target text


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel spellings -ir and -ur

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • girl
  • curl
  • stir
  • twirl
  • swirl
  • whirl


  • Clear cups 
  • Food dye
  • Jar or bottle 
  • Paper-doll graphic
  • Blender graphic
  • Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl target text
  • A Blender Whirls, Twirls, and Swirls target text

State and Model the Objective
The children will pretend to whirl, swirl, and twirl a drink in a blender and then read and write words with -ir and -ur, such as whirl, swirl, twirl, girl, and curl.
Literacy Activities
Twirling girl

  • Show the children the paper-doll graphic with curls.
  • Invite the children to take turns twirling the girl.
  • Comment, "The girl twirls and her curls swirl and whirl!”  
  • Have the children give the command "Twirl the girl!" to other children.
  • Have the children twirl each other. 

Swirl and whirl colors

  • Have the children make signs that say, "Swirl!" and "Whirl!"
  • Place a drop of food coloring in the clear cup that is about 3/4 full of water.
  • Explain that the water needs to be swirled. 
  • Invite the children to hold up their signs and say, "Swirl!" and "Whirl!"
  • Slowly stir the food dye in the water. 
  • Let the children pretend to swirl and whirl the water.

Swirl and whirl and twirl in a blender

  • Show a picture of a blender that whirls, swirls, and twirls.  
  • Have the children pretend to be a blender, jiggling back and forth and whirling, swirling, and twirling.  
  • Let the children hold a pretend blender jar (a cup) and make whirling, twirling, and swirling motions.  

More Practice
Read target words in texts

  • Read the Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl target text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Have the children twirl when they hear a word spelled with -ir and -ur.
  • Read the text again, fading support. 
  • Repeat with the A Blender Whirls, Twirls, and Swirls target text.

Write about the activity using target words and patterns

  • Let each child practice writing words as you say them: swirl, whirl, twirl, girl, curl
  • Let the children write about what they did during the activity (i.e., “We twirled the girl with curls.”).
Read More

SEEL Target Texts

A Blender Whirls, Twirls, and Swirls

Make your blender swirl, twirl, and whirl.
Turn your blender on.
Feel the blender as it twirls.
Listen to the blender whirl.
Watch the blender swirl.
Push a button to turn your blender off.
Now the blender does not whirl, twirl, or swirl.

Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl

Twirl, swirl, whirl.
A girl with curls likes to twirl.
The girl whirls around.
And her curls swirl and whirl around too.
Do you like to twirl, swirl, and whirl?
Read More



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