Whirl and Swirl


Read and write words that are spelled with -ir and -ur

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • whirl
  • swirl
  • twirl
  • girl
  • stir
  • curl


  • Plastic or clear cup with some water 
  • Food dye
  • Jar or bottle to use as a pretend blender
  • Paper doll and blender graphics
  • Sentence strips 
  • Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl target text
  • A Blender can Swirl, Twirl, and Swirl target text 

The children will pretend to whirl and swirl and twirl a drink in a blender as they read and write words with -ir and -ur, such as whirl, swirl, twirl, girl, and curl.
Literacy Activities
Twirling girl

  • Show the children the picture of a girl with curls.
  • Help the children read the sentence strips. 
  • Invite the children to take turns twirling the girl.
  • As the girl twirls comment, "The girl twirls and her curls swirl and whirl!”  
  • Have children give the command "Twirl the girl" to other children.

Swirl and whirl colors

  • Have the children make signs that say, "Swirl!" and "Whirl!"
  • Place a drop of food coloring in a cup about ¾ full of water.
  • Explain that the water needs to be swirled. 
  • Invite the children to hold up their signs and say, "Swirl!" and "Whirl!"
  • Slowly stir the food dye in the water. 
  • Let the children pretend to swirl and whirl the water.

Swirl and whirl and twirl in a blender

  • Show a picture of a blender that whirls, swirls, and twirls.  
  • Have the children pretend to be a blender, jiggling back and forth and whirling, swirling, and twirling.  
  • Let the children hold a pretend blender jar (a cup) and make whirling, twirling, and swirling motions.  

More Practice
Read target words in texts

  • Engage the children in reading the Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl target text together.
  • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ir and -ur.
  • Read the text again, fading support. 
  • Repeat with the A Blender Whirls, Twirls, and Swirls target text.

Write about the activity using target words and patterns

  • Let each child practice writing words from dictation: swirl, whirl, twirl, girl, curl
  • Let the children write about what they did during the activity (e.g., The girl likes to twirl. I helped the girl twirl. The water swirls. The water twirls and turns red.)

SEEL Target Texts

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Make a Milkshake

Put milk and ice cream in a blender.
Let the blender blade whirl.
Listen to the blender blade whir.
Watch the milk and ice cream swirl and twirl.
Let the milk and ice cream whirl around until they swirl into a milkshake!  

Twirling and Whirling

What things like to twirl and whirl?  
Milkshakes like to twirl and whirl.
Ballerinas like to twirl.
A fan likes to whirl.
Some girls likes to twirl.
Do you like to twirl?

A Blender Whirls, Twirls, and Swirls

Make your blender swirl, twirl, and whirl.
Turn your blender on.
Feel the blender as it twirls.
Listen to the blender whirl.
Watch the blender swirl.
Push a button to turn your blender off.
Now the blender does not whirl, twirl, or swirl.

Twirl, Swirl, and Whirl

Twirl, swirl, whirl.
A girl with curls likes to twirl.
The girl whirls around.
And her curls swirl and whirl around too.
Do you like to twirl, swirl, and whirl?



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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.