Target text
Turn and Stir to Churn


Read and write words with the /er/ sound that are spelled with -ur, -ear, -ir, and -or. 

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • turn
  • stir
  • work
  • churn
  • learn
  • yearn


  • Plastic spoons 
  • A bowl or cups
  • Picture of a person churning butter (optional)
  • Learn to Churn Butter target text*
  • Word cards*
  • Labels*

Items included below.

The children will pretend to stir and turn utensils to churn butter and will read and write words with the /er/ sound spelled with
-ur, -ear, -ir, and -or.

Literacy Activities
Yearn to learn

  • Explain to the children that yearn means to want.
  • Ask the children if they yearn to learn how to make butter.
  • Show the picture of a person churning butter (optional).
  • Explain that to churn means to stir cream until it turns into butter.
  • Tell the children that they will pretend to churn butter.
  • Let children take turns pretending to stir and churn cream into butter with the plastic spoons and bowl/cups.

More Practice 
Read how to churn butter

  • Display the Learn to Churn Butter target text (found below).
  • Read the target text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Read the target text again and stop at each word that has the /er/ sound (e.g., butter, work, twirl, turn).

Sort words into different /er/ spellings 

  • Show a stack of word cards (found below) to the children.
  • Display labels (found below) for the different /er/ spellings: ur, ear, ir, and or.
  • Invite the children to sort words into the different /er/ spellings under the appropriate labels.

Write a sentence using a target word 

  • Have the children write words from dictation in a list (e.g., work, learn, stir, churn, burn, turn, butter, whirl, twirl, earn, dirt, first, hurl, yearn, word).
  • Invite the children to write a sentence or two using words with the /er/ sound from their list.

SEEL Target Texts

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Learn to Churn Butter

Do you yearn to make butter?
You can learn to churn butter.
Put cream in a bowl. 
Turn and turn and turn a spoon in the bowl.
Stir and whirl the spoon to churn.
Twirl and turn the bowl.
Twirl and swirl the spoon in the bowl.
Swirl, turn, twirl, and whirl to churn the butter.
It’s a lot of work to turn, twirl, stir, and whirl to churn butter. 
You can learn to churn butter!

Take a Turn to Stir and Churn

Take a turn to stir, whirl, swirl, and churn.
Stir and stir and stir. 
Whirl and whirl and whirl.
Turn and turn the bowl. 
Twirl and twirl the spoon.
Churn and churn to make butter. 
Whirl and twirl to churn. 
It’s a lot of work to churn butter!



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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.