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Toil to Clean a Toy
Target text


Read and write words with the vowel combination spelled -oy or -oi and recognize that both spellings have the same pronunciation.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • toy
  • joy
  • toil
  • coin
  • soil
  • ploy
  • choice


  • Toy car or a picture of a car*
  • Dirt
  • Damp cloth
  • Word-building cards* 
  • Will You Toil for Coins? target text*
  • Toil to Clean a Toy target text* 

*Items included below

State and Model the Objective
The children will toil to clean a toy and then read and write words spelled with -oi and -oy, such as soil, toil, avoid, choice, toy, joy, boy, and annoy.

Literacy Activities
Toil to clean soiled toys

  • Ask the children if they ever played with a toy car in soil (dirt).
  • Allow the children to drive a toy car or the picture of a car (found below) in a little bit of real or pretend soil.
  • Tell the children that they will have to toil (work hard) or pay someone a coin to clean off the soil.
  • Have the children write toil if their choice is to work to clean the car.
  • Have the children write coin if their choice is to pay someone else to clean the toy.
  • Say, “In the future, avoid getting soil on your toys. It’s annoying to get soil on your toys.”
  • Make a list of -oi and -oy words (e.g., coin, soil, toy, avoid, annoy, choice).
  • State that -oi and -oy have the same pronunciation but are spelled differently.

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds
With the word-building cards (found below), have the children make words by changing the beginning, middle, or end sounds:

  • Change the beginning consonant: toilsoil; toyjoy; coinjoin
  • Change the ending sounds: coilcoin; soilsoy; joinjoy

Read target words in texts 

  • Read the Will You Toil for Coins? target text (found below) to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Have the children underline words with -oy and -oi in the text.
  • Repeat with the Toil to Clean a Toy target text (found below).

Write about the activity using target words and patterns

  • Have the children help create a T-chart with one column for the -oi words and one for the -oy words.
  • Display a word wall with -oi and -oy words and ask children to use some of the words as they create one or two sentences (e.g., “I enjoy my toy. I will toil for a coin.”).

SEEL Target Texts

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Toil to Clean a Toy

A boy took his toy truck and dug in the soil. 
Oh boy! What a dirty toy!
The boy had two choices to get rid of the soil.
With some toil, he could clean the soil off the toy.
Or, he could pay a coin to get someone else to clean the toy.
Whatever his choice, he should avoid getting his toy stuck in soil.
The boy made the choice to toil to get rid of the soil.
He said, “No more soil! “Oh joy! Oh boy! I can enjoy my toy!”
So now he will not get his toy in too much soil.
Too much soil will spoil his toy.

Will You Toil for Coins?

Work and toil, work and toil.
So much work and toil.
But, I have a plan.
I have a ploy.
I’ll employ you to toil, and you will get coins.
You have a choice: do not toil or toil for coins. 
You can get coins to buy toys.
You can get coins to enjoy. 
I will sit back and avoid the toil.
I will enjoy not having to toil. 
I will enjoy the rest while you toil.
You can enjoy the coins from your toil.
It’s your choice . . . 
Coins to buy toys to enjoy?
Or no coins and rest to enjoy?


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words with the vowel combination spelled -oy and -oi and recognize that both spellings have the same pronunciation.


  • Various toys
  • Sponges or washcloths
  • Coins (real or pretend)
  • Container for coins

Activity: A Coin for a Toy Wash

  • Invite your child to run a pretend toy wash (with pretend or real water) to clean people's soiled (dirty) toys.
  • Set out a pile of toys, a small container for coins, and sponges/washcloths.
  • Invite family members or friends to bring a coin and a toy to the toy wash.
  • Take turns being the person who runs the pretend toy wash. 
  • Make comments like, "Only one coin for a toy wash!" and "What a joy to clean a soiled toy!"
  • Ask your child to listen for the /oy/ sound in certain words and help him or her write the words (e.g., boy, toy, joy, toil, soil, oil).
  • Take turns pretending that the toys are reading the words on the list, adding silly voices for even more fun!


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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.