Did a Butterfly Fly By?


Read and write words with the long i spelling –y.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • by
  • my
  • fly
  • sky
  • butterfly


  • Butterfly, dragonfly, fly, bird, and penguin graphics (see below)
  • Action cards (see below)
  • Letter cards for blending and manipulating words (see below)
  • I Spy a Butterfly target text (see below)
  • Did a Butterfly Fly By? target text (see below)



State and model the objective

Tell the children that they will pretend to spy (explain that spy means to see something suddenly) a butterfly fly by while they read and write words long i spelling –y. Make a list of words with –y: fly, spy, try, why, cry, sky, my, why. Tell the children they will read and write these words.


Practice the skill within an activity

  • Spy a butterfly fly by
    • Pretend to be outside looking at the sky.
    • Hold up the pictures of a butterfly, dragonfly, fly, bird, and penguin one at a time.
    • Let the children decide if each insect/animal can fly.
    • Have the children write, “It can fly in the sky” or “It can not fly in the sky” for each picture.
    • Explain that even though penguins have wings, they cannot fly.
    • Make comments throughout the activity to emphasize words with the long i spelling –y:
      • I don’t know why a penguin can’t fly.
      • I spy a dragonfly.
      • Oh my! I spy a butterfly in the sky.
  • Spy action cards in the sky
    • Show children the action cards (see below), holding them up in the “sky.”
    • Help the children choose an action for each card (e.g. pretend to use binoculars for the action “spy a butterfly fly by.”
    • Have the children read the sentence on each action card and perform the action.


Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Phonological Awareness
      • Word Building:
        • With word blending cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants:
          • fly --> try; my --> by; spy --> why, cry --> sky
          • fly --> flies; try --> tries; spy --> spies
          • fly --> flied; try --> tried; spy --> spied
  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text I Spy a Butterfly together as a class/group.
    • Read the text again fading support.
    • Ask the children to listen for words with the long i sound as you read the text together.
    • Have the children make a list of the words with the –ie and –y vowels.
    • Repeat with the target text Did a Butterfly Fly By?.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and let them write about the things they can spy in the sky. Have them use some of these words: butterfly, dragonfly, spy, fly, by, sky, try.


SEEL Target Texts

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Did a Butterfly fly by?

Did you see a butterfly fly by?
Did you see a dragonfly fly by?
Did you see a bird fly by?
I saw a butterfly fly by.
I saw a dragonfly fly by.
But I did NOT see a penguin fly by.
Do you want to know why?
Because penguins can’t fly.
I wonder why.

I Spy a Butterfly

Do you see a butterfly in the sky?
I spy a butterfly in the sky.
Do you see a dragonfly?
I spy a dragonfly in the sky.
Have you seen a bird fly?
I spy a bird in the sky.
Have you seen a penguin fly?
I have never seen a penguin fly!
But I would like to watch one try.
And I want to know why a penguin can’t fly.



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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.