votes for boats and totes


Read and write words with two long o spellings: -oa and silent e; recognize both spellings as having the same pronunciation.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • boat
  • float
  • goat
  • coat
  • oat
  • moat


  • Paper to fold into boats 
  • Notepaper for writing notes and votes
  • Pictures of different kinds of boats (see graphics below)
  • Empty plastic bottles (or something else that floats) to attach to the boat graphics
  • Bags and strips of cloth or paper to make totes
  • Stapler to assemble totes
  • Small pan of water
  • Notes to Fold into Boats printout (see below)
  • Instructions for folding a paper boat (see below)
  • Vote for the Boat that will Float target text (see below)
  • Put Notes in Totes target text (see below)
  • Word blending cards (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will play with boats and totes and notes. Explain that boat and tote both have the long o sound, but they are spelled differently. List words that end with -ote and -oat on the board: boat, goat, float, note, wrote, tote. Tell the children they will read and write these words.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Make a boat out of a note
    • Let the children write notes (see the Notes to Fold into Boats printout below) on a piece of notepaper.
    • Let the children fold the note into a paper boat by following instructions (see below) or let them fold a boat using their own ideas for folding a note into a boat.
    • Put the boats in a pan of water to see if a boat made out of a note will float.
  • Vote for the boat that will float  
    • Let the children label pictures of different kinds of boats (see graphics below) (e.g. speed boat, tug boat, sail boat, life boat).
    • Tape the pictures of different kinds of boats to empty plastic bottles or something else that float.
    • Place the paper boats in a line.
    • Have the children write a note on notepaper to vote for which boat they think will float (e.g. "I vote for the tug boat.")
    • Gather the notes to count the votes.
    • Tell the children that the boat with the most votes is the boat that gets a chance to float.
    • Put the boat with the most votes in a small pan of water to see if it will float.
  • Make a tote and boat for the best float
    • Let each child make a tote bag by stapling strips of paper or cloth to a plastic or paper bag to make straps.
    • Line up the tote bags and label each tote bag "tote 1," "tote 2," etc.
    • Vote for the best tote by writing a note on notepaper (e.g. "I vote for tote 1.").
    • Put the vote inside the tote (e.g. put a note that says "I vote for tote 1" in the tote labeled tote 1).
    • Count the notes in each tote and tell the children that the tote with the most votes gets to be the first tote in a tote parade.
    • Put boats made out of notes in the totes and tell the children they will tote boats and notes in their tote bags.
    • Comment on how the word tote can mean a type of bag or tote can mean to carry
    • Show the children how to tote (carry) a tote bag then let all the children have a tote parade, where they tote notes and boats in their totes as they parade around the room.

Apply the skill

  • Identify, blend and manipulate sounds
    • With letters placed on cards or bottle caps, have the children make new words by changing the consonants:
      • oat --> goat, boat --> float, moat --> coat, throat --> gloat
      • tote --> note, wrote --> quote, vote --> tote
      • oat --> oak, goat --> goal, note --> nope, wrote --> write
  • Read target words/patterns in a text (see below)
    • Read the target text Vote for the Boat that will Float (see below) together as a class/group. 
    • Read the text again fading support.
    • Have the children underline the words that end with -oat then repeat with words that end with -ote.
    • Repeat with the target text Put Notes in Totes.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Give each child a paper and pencil and have them write words from dictation: boat, float, goat, vote, note, coat, oat, tote, wrote, float, moat, gloat, throat, quote.
    • Engage the children in interactive writing about their experience by generating sentence frames and letting the children fill in target words and phrases by picking from options presented verbally or in writing. If time allows, let children write their sentences on note paper then put the notes on boats on in totes:
      • "I saw a..." (boat float, a boat made out of a note)
      • "I like to..." (make a tote for notes, make a boat from a note)
      • "I can vote..." (for the best boat, for the best tote)

SEEL Target Texts

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Put Notes in Totes

We can make lots of totes.
We can put straps on bags to make tote bags.
We can write a note to vote for the best tote.
Then we can put notes in the tote bags.
We can tote the notes around in a tote bag parade.
A tote can be used to tote around notes!

Will It Float?

Fold a note into a boat. 
What a nice boat!
But will it float?
Tote your boat to the pond.
Let the note boat try to float on the pond.
It floats!
Look! What a nice goat.
But will it float?
Tote the goat to the pond.
Let the note boat with a goat try to float on the pond. 
It floats!



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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.