A Girl with Dirt on her Skirt


Read and write words with the r-controlled vowel –ir (e.g., girl, skirt, first).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • squirt
  • dirt
  • shirt
  • skirt
  • girl
  • first
  • squirm


  • Bottle that squirts (e.g., an empty pump bottle used for hand soap or shampoo; a spray bottle)
  • Pan of dirt
  • Picture of a girl (see below) laminated or covered with a sheet protector 
  • A real shirt and skirt that can get dirty (optional)
  • Hey! I Got Dirt on My Shirt! reader's theater script (see below)
  • How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt? target text (see below)

State and model the objective 
Tell the children that they will do an activity with a shirt, skirt, and dirt. They will also read and write words spelled with -ir: squirt, dirt, shirt, skirt, girl, first.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Let a girl twirl and swirl in dirt
    • Let the children trace words spelled with -ir (i.e., squirt, dirt, shirt, skirt, girl, first) in a pan filled with dirt.
    • Show the paper doll (laminated or covered in a sheet protector) and tell the children that the girl will twirl and swirl around as she dances in the dirt.
    • Let the girl twirl and swirl around in the pan of dirt.
    • As the girl twirls, whirls, and swirls in the dirt, comment on how her skirt and shirt are getting dirty.
    • Let the children squirt water on the girl's shirt and skirt to clean off the dirt.
  • Produce a reader's theater skit
    • Engage the children in reading a reader's theater production (see below), then have the children act out the script:
      • Let two children put on a shirt and skirt over their clothing (optional) or have the children use dolls (see graphic below).
      • Let one child pretend to kick up some dirt and get dirt on her shirt.
      • Have the second child pretend to squirt the dirt off of the first child's shirt.
      • Let child two twirl and pretend to get dirt on her skirt.
      • Have child one pretend to skirt the dirt off of the skirt.
      • Have the children help each other get pretend dirt off their shirts.
      • Have both children whirl, swirl and twirl around to shake the dirt and water off of their shirt or skirt.

Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in texts
    • Engage the children in reading the target text How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt? (see below) together with the group.
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ir.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Let each child practice writing words from dictation: squirt, spurt, dirt, skirt, shirt. Then let the children write about what they did during the activity. (e.g., There was a shirt and skirt. There was dirt on the shirt. I got a squirt to wipe off the dirt.)

SEEL Target Texts

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How Did a Girl Get Dirt on Her Shirt?

Here comes a girl with a dirty shirt.
A dirty shirt!
How did the girl get a dirty shirt?
It doesn't matter.  
We can squirt the shirt to clean off the dirt.
We can squirt the dirt off her shirt.
Now the shirt doesn't have any dirt.
It isn't a dirty shirt.
But don't get dirt on your shirt!

Hey, I Got Dirt On My Shirt!

(Child 1 pretends to kick up some dirt)
Child 1:  Drat!  I got dirt on my shirt. 
              Did you get dirt on your shirt?
Child 2:  No, I didn't get dirt on my shirt.
              But, I'll get the dirt off your shirt.
              First, I'll squirt the dirt off your shirt! 
(Child 2 pretends to squirt the shirt)
Child 1: You got the dirt off my shirt!
(Child 2 steps toward child 1 and twirls in excitement, getting dirt on her skirt)
Child 2:  Hey, when I twirl and swirl, I get dirt on my                   skirt!
Child 1:  You got dirt on your skirt?
Child 2:  Yes, I got dirt on my skirt.
Child 1:  I can get the dirt off your skirt.  
             Hold still. Stand firm and don't squirm.
             I can squirt the dirt off your skirt. 
(Child 1 pretends to squirt water from a bottle)
Child 1:  See, I got dirt off your skirt!
Child 2:  You did!  You got the dirt off my skirt!
              Now we can whirl, twirl, and swirl to shake off               the water and dirt.
(Child 1 and Child 2 whirl, twirl, and swirl around)



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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.