Stay and Play


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • stay
  • away
  • day
  • lay
  • may
  • say
  • way
  • sway


  • Toy dog or dog graphic (see below)
  • Paper and pencils to make commands for dog tricks
  • Kay Learns to Stay and Play target text (see below)
  • Play with Kay target text (see below)

State and model the objective

Tell the children that today they will teach a dog (show them toy or graphic) some new tricks, like how to play and stay. Point out that play and stay both end in –ay. Tell the children they will read and write words with the long a vowel pattern –ay: stay, play, way, may, day.


Practice the skill within an activity

  • Stay and Play
    • Explain to the children that you will teach a dog some new tricks.
    • Engage the children in reading Kay Learns to Stay and Play together as a group.
    • Have the children identify the commands given to Kay. Help the children make signs for each of the commands.
    • Invite the children to hold up a sign with a command for Kay then have use the toy or paper dog to act out the command:
      • Stay
      • Jump this way
      • Play dead
      • Say “woof!”


Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Play with Kay together with the group.
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled 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: stay, day, gray, may, say, way, play, Kay. Let them write about what they did during the activity. (e.g., I taught the dog how to stay. I like to play with the dog.)


SEEL Target Texts

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Kay Learns to Stay and Play

My dog is gray and her name is Kay.
I will teach Kay to do some tricks today!
Stay, Kay, stay!
Kay, jump this way.
Kay, play dead.
Kay, say, “Woof!”
Good job, Kay!
That’s the way!
Now you may go and play.
Yay! What a day!

Play with Kay

It is such a gray day!
What should do today?
What should I do on this gray day in May?
Maybe I’ll teach my dog, Kay, some tricks today.
I hope she doesn’t run away!
Will she stay and play with me?
Stay, Kay!
Say, ‘ruff’, Kay.
Play dead, Kay.
Go this way. Go that way.
Good job, Kay!
I love when my dog, Kay, stays to play!



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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.