Stay Away Blue Jay


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • stay
  • day
  • way
  • lay
  • away
  • say


  • Blue jay picture (see photograph below)
  • Gray bird picture (see photograph below)
  • Fountain spray picture (see photograph below)
  • Nest picture (see graphic below)
  • Straw or string to build a nest made of hay
  • Egg word cards (see below)
  • Go Away Blue Jay target text (see below)

State and model the objective

Tell the children they will help keep a blue jay away from a gray bird’s nest. Point out that jay, gray and away all end in –ay. Tell the children they will read and write words with the long a vowel pattern –ay: away, stay, play, spray, may, day.


Practice the skill within an activity

  • Tell a blue jay to stay away
    • Show the children a picture of a blue jay (see below) and explain to the children that blue jays are birds that sometimes try to steal eggs from other birds’ nests.
    • Read the target text Go Away Blue Jay with the children.
    • Have the children act out the text using photographs and pictures (see below).
    • Let the children make a sign that says “Go away!” and let them hold up the sign while they chase the blue jay away from the gray bird’s nest.
  • Gather eggs with –ay words
    • Place the egg word cards around the room.
    • Have the children build a nest made of pretend hay using straw or string.
    • Let the children gather the egg cards and have them read the word on each card.
    • Let the children put the cards in the nest made of hay.


Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Go Away Blue Jay! 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: away, stay, clay, day, lay, clay, gray, spray, may, pay, say, way, sway. Let them write about what they did during the activity.


SEEL Target Texts

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Go Away Blue Jay!

One day I saw a gray bird building a nest with hay.
The gray bird wanted to lay an egg in that nest of hay.
The next day I saw a blue jay.
The blue jay wanted to steal the nest of hay.
That day I told the blue jay to stay away.
I told the blue jay to stay away from the nest of hay.
I told the blue jay to fly far away.
The blue jay did fly away.
The blue jay found a new place to play.
The blue jay played in a fountain’s spray.



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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.