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Pay for Hay in May
Target text


Read and write words that end with the long a vowel pattern -ay.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • hay
  • pay
  • may
  • day
  • bay
  • say
  • gray


  • Real coins or pictures of coins*
  • Brown paper
  • Word cards containing -ay*
  • May I Pay? target text*
  • Bay and Gray—Kinds of Horses target text*
  • A Day to Buy Hay Together target text*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
The children will pay for hay and then read and write words that end with -ay, such as say, day, bay, may, and gray

Literacy Activities 
Pay for hay

  • Have the children help you cut the brown paper into thin strips to look like hay.
  • Read the May I Pay? target text (found below).
  • Invite the children to act out the text with the coins (real or pictures found below) and hay:
    • Pretend to have the children pay to get some hay.
    • Have the children ask, “May I pay?”
    • Let the children exchange money for hay.

Find words in hay

  • Bury the -ay word cards (found below) in strips of paper hay.
  • Have the children dig through the hay to find the word cards.
  • Have the children read the words on the cards.
  • Point out that all of the words are spelled with the long a spelled -ay.

More Practice  
Read target texts 

  • Engage the children in reading the Bay and Gray—Kinds of Horses target text (found below) with you.
  • Have the children make a list of the words that end with -ay.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Engage the children in reading the A Day to Buy Hay Together target text (found below), fading support. 

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Let the children write words from dictation (e.g., hay, stay, clay, day, lay, clay, gray, may, pay, say, way, sway).
  • Have the children write about paying for hay (e.g., “I can pay to buy hay. I buy hay in May.”).

SEEL Target Texts

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May I Pay?

I want to buy hay.
The farmer has hay.
I have money to pay for hay.
I can pay to buy hay.
I ask the farmer, “May I pay for hay?”
The farmer says, “You may!”
I pay the farmer and get some hay.
Yay!  My horses will have hay today.

A Day to Buy Hay Together

On a day in May, I went to get some hay.
I had to drive a very long way.
I loaded the hay and then went to pay.
I wanted to stay, but I had no time to play.
I had to get back to horses who need hay today.  
My horses eat hay every day.

Bay and Gray—Kinds of Horses 

I have two horses.  
I have a bay and a gray horse.
May I tell you about my bay and gray horse?
My gray horse has a gray coat. 
My bay horse has a brown coat.
My gray horse has a white mane and tail.
My bay horse has a black mane and tail.
Both my bay horse and my gray horse eat hay.  
That’s the way I feed my bay and gray horses—I give them hay.



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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.