Clowns Fall Down


Read and write words spelled with the -ow vowel pattern.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • clown
  • crown
  • down
  • frown
  • gown
  • town
  • brown


  • Paper clowns (see below) printed on card stock and placed on cardboard stands (or taped onto bottle caps) so they can tumble down
  • Paper crowns – for the children (see below)
  • Paper gowns and crowns - for the paper clowns (see below)
  • Clowns Come to Town target text (see below)
  • Word blending cards (see below)

State and model the objective

Tell the children that today they will stack paper clowns as they read and write words ending in –own: clown, crown, down, frown, gown, town, brown.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Pretend the clowns are coming to town
    • Announce to the children that the clowns are coming to town. Tell them that they will each get to make crowns and gowns for the clowns, because clowns like to dress up in silly things.
    • Cut out the small crowns for the paper clowns (see below) and then have the children color them brown.
    • Have the children cut out paper crowns for themselves (see below) and have them color the crowns brown.
    • Let them pretend to be clowns while wearing their crowns.
    • Cut out the small gowns (see below) for the clowns and have the children color them brown.
    • Let the children dress up the clowns with the brown crowns and brown gowns.
  • Place clowns upside down and facedown
    • Explain to the children that clowns like to do tricks.
    • Let the children pretend to make the paper clowns do tricks by placing them upside down and facedown.
  • Countdown until the clowns fall down
    • Cut out the clowns and tape them to the bottle caps or cardboard stands.
    • Place the clowns on top of each other as if they are sitting on top of each other’s shoulders.
    • Explain that a countdown means you count backwards.
    • Countdown from 3 and let the clown stack fall down.
    • Let the children pretend to be clowns who fall down; count down starting at 3 and let them fall down.

Apply the skill

  • Identify, blend and manipulate sounds
    • With word blending cards (see below) have the children make new words by changing the consonants or adding another word:
      • down  gown town; frown brown drown
      • clown crown brown
      • down countdown facedown; down downtown
  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Engage the children in reading the target text Clowns Come to Town together as a class/group.
    • Read the text again fading support.
    • Ask the children to listen for –ow words as you read the text together.
    • Have the children make a list of the –ow words that they heard.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a whiteboard and have them write words from dictation: clown, crown, down, frown, gown, town, brown, drown, countdown, downtown.
    • Have the children change one or two letters each time to make a new word:
      • down gown town; frown brown → drown
      • clown  crown brown
      • down downtown
    • Engage the children in interactive writing about their experience. Review target words and phrases from the activities then present sentence frame, sentence completion, gestural, or question prompts incorporating target words and phrases. Provide verbal or written options if needed.
      • Example of an interactive text:
        • Some clowns are coming to ______ (town).
        • Some clowns have _______ (frowns).
        • Some clowns wear _______ (gowns).
        • Some clowns wear _______ (crowns).
        • Some clowns wear brown _______ (crowns) and brown _______ (gowns).

SEEL Target Texts

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Clowns Come to Town

Some clowns are coming to town.
Some clowns have frowns.
Some clowns wear gowns.
Some clowns wear crowns.
Some clowns wear brown crowns and brown gowns.
The clowns can do tricks.
They can stand upside down.
They can stack up and fall down.
But the clowns frown when they fall down.



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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.