A Turtle Can Surf


Read and write words with the sound -ur

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • turtle
  • surf
  • blur
  • hurt
  • churn
  • turn
  • curl



  • Blue paper, cloth, or blanket for ocean backdrop (optional)
  • Paper fan for ocean breeze (optional)
  • Turtle and surfboard graphics (see below) (combine the images with the cut slot)
  • Picture of someone surfing (optional)
  • A Turtle Can Surf target text (see below)
  • The Turtle Likes to Surf target text (see below)

State and model the objective 
Tell the children that they will help a turtle surf. Explain that they will read and write words spelled with -ur: turtle, surf, blur, hurt, churn, turn, curl, hurl.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Learn to surf
    • Ask the children if any of them have been to a beach and seen surfers, or seen surfing on television.
    • Invite the children to demonstrate how to surf. They can pretend to surf by crouching, leaning, or balancing. A fan can blow an "ocean breeze" on the surfers.
    • Show the surfing turtle to the children and explain that they will get a chance to help a turtle surf.
    • Show the paper turtle and its surfboard to the children. Have the children read the target text A Turtle Can Surf (see below) and enact the story with the cutouts. Before reading, explain to the children that the turtle moves so quickly that you can't see him. Move the paper cut-out turtle fast so they can see him blur.
  • Help the turtle surf
    • Explain to the children that a surf is a big wave. Make a surf by moving a slack piece of paper, cloth, or blanket (held at two ends) up and down.   
    • Explain that surf can also be an action word; to surf means that someone rides on a surf.
    • Let the children make the paper turtle surf. The turtle can surf the wave (surf) created by the paper or blanket. Two children can make the wave (surf) and a third child can move the turtle to make it surf.

Apply the skill (Choose from the activities below)

  • Read target words in a text
    • Engage the children in reading the target text The Turtle Likes to Surf (see below).
    • Have the children make a list of the words spelled with -ur.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Let each child practice writing words from dictation: turtle, surf, blur, hurt, churn, turn, curl, hurl. Then let the children write about what they did during the activity. (e.g., I helped the turtle surf. He surfed on a surfboard. He surfed on waves. The waves curled and churned.)

SEEL Target Texts

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The Turtle Likes to Surf

The turtle likes to surf.
The surfing turtle owns a surfboard.
The surfboard hurls through the water.
The waves curl and churn.
The turtle likes to turn when he surfs.
He surfs so fast that he looks like a blur.

A Turtle Can Surf

I know a turtle who can surf.
When he surfs, all you see is a blur.
He's so fast! 
He rides the waves that curl and churn.
I hope the turtle doesn't get hurt!
But it looks like fun.  I'd like a turn!



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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.