Pay for Hay in May


Read and write words that end with the long a vowel pattern –ay.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • day
  • hay
  • gray
  • bay
  • may
  • pay
  • say
  • way


  • Coins or money graphic (see below)
  • Hay or brown paper cut into thin strips to look like hay
  • May I Pay? target text (see below)
  • What Are They? target text (see below)
  • Word cards (see below)


Practice the skill within an activity

  • Pay for hay
    • Read the target text May I Pay? (see below).
    • Invite the children to act out the text with the money and hay:
      • Pretend to have a farm on which the children pay to get some hay.
      • Explain that you are a farmer with hay and the children need to buy the hay.
      • Give the children a coin or one pretend bill (see money graphics below).
      • Have the children ask, “May I pay?” and exchange the bill for a few strips of hay.
  • Find words in hay
    • Bury word cards (see below) in hay or in brown paper cut into thin strips to look like hay.
    • Have the children dig through the hay to find the word cars.
    • Have the children read the word on each card.
    • Point out that all of the words are spelled with the long a pattern –ay.


Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text What Are They? together with the group.
    • Have the children make a list of the words that end with –ay.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and let them write words from dictation: hay, stay, clay, day, lay, clay, gray, may, pay, say, way, sway. Let them write about what they did during the activity. (e.g., I can pay to buy hay. I buy hay in May.)


SEEL Target Texts

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May I Pay?

I want to buy hay.
The farmer has hay.
I have the money to pay.
I want to pay the farmer so I can buy the hay.
I ask the farmer, “May I pay?”
The farmer says, “You may!”
I pay the farmer and get some hay.

What Are They?

On a clear day in May,
I went out to a farm to get some hay.
I had to drive a very long way.
I loaded the hay and then went to pay.
I wanted to stay, but I had no time to play.
I had to get back to my bay and my gray.
For supper that day, both my bay and my gray had hay.
What are they? What are my bay and gray?
Answer: Horses
A bay—a horse with a black mane and tail
A gray—a horse that’s the color gray



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.C: Know final -e and common vowel team conventions for representing long vowel sounds.