Target text
Pay to Play


Read and write words spelled with the -ay vowel pattern.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pay
  • play
  • stay
  • way


  • Small bean bags
  • Bean bag toss board with holes
  • Play pennies
  • Small empty box

State and model the objective

Tell the children that they will pay to play as they read and write words that end in -ay, such as day, play, pay, stay, may, and sway.

Practice the skill within an activity

Pay to Play

  • Have the children line up, and give them each a play penny.
  • The first child puts his or her penny in the empty box. He or she tosses the bean bag at the board and tries to get it into one of the holes.
  • When he or she is successful, have the child shout, “Yay!”
  • Allow each child to have a turn.

Apply the Skill

Read target words/patterns introduced in the activity

  • Teach the children that when the letters a and y come together, the a makes a long /ae/ sound and the y stays silent.
  • Help the children practice the ay concept by writing words from the activity on the board and reading them together as a class.

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Help the children create a word wall of words with ay. Then have the children write a sentence about the activity using the words from the word wall  (e.g.Today, we got to play a game called pay-to-play. or I said, ‘Yay!’ when I got to play.)
  • Engage in word-making with ay:
    • find the word way in the word sway
    • make the word play into the word pay
    • make the word say into sway, etc.


See More

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.