Grab a Crab


Read and write words that end with -ab.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • cab
  • crab
  • jab
  • stab
  • grab


  • Tray full of dried beans
  • Crab graphics
  • Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text
  • Clothespins and/or tongs
  • Letter cards
  • Optional: Photo or video of crabs on a beach
  • Click to view a video demonstration similar to this lesson. 

The children will take a cab to find a crab and read and write words that end with -ab, such as cab, crab, jab, stab, and grab.

Literacy Activities
Take a cab to grab a crab

  • Fill a tray with dried beans to represent a beach and set up chairs to represent seats in a cab.
  • Cut out the crab graphics and bury them in the pretend sand (dried beans).
  • Read the Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text together as a class.
  • Invite a child to pretend to call for a cab (using their fingers as a telephone).
  • Have the children pretend to get in the cab (the chairs) to take a ride to a beach.
  • Tell the children to get out of the cab to dig for and grab crabs in the sand.
  • Let the children use clothespins or tongs to grab like a crab.
  • Have the children show how the crabs can jab and stab with their claws.
  • Tell the children to leave the crabs in the sand and get in the cab.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Let the children make different words (e.g. crab) from letter cards by changing either of the consonants or the vowel.
    • Change the beginning sound(s): cab jab; grab crab; stab grab
    • Change the vowel sound: cab cub; crab crib; stab stub
    • Change the ending sound(s): crab cram; cab can; stab star
  • For each of the words the children make, have them produce the sounds for each letter and then blend those sounds back into a word.

Read target words in a text

  • Have the children underline words that end in -ab in the Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text.
  • Read the text to the children.
  • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support.

Write about the activity using target words and phrases

  • Display target words on a word wall (i.e. cab, crab, jab, stab, grab).
  • Refer the children to the word wall and have them write a sentence or two expressing ideas from a lesson activity or target text (e.g., The crab can jab and stab). 

SEEL Target Texts

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Take a Cab to Find a Crab

Let’s go to the ocean to dig for crabs.
Get in a cab.
Ride in the cab to get some crabs.
Get out of the cab.
Dig and jab around in the sand to find a crab.
Look, a crab!
Grab that crab!
Look out!
The crab has a claw that can stab and jab.
Leave that crab in the sand.
Get back in the cab!
Ride home in the cab without a crab.


SEEL At Home

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Read and write words that end with -ab


  • How to Play "Grab Like a Crab" target text
  • Crab and cab graphics
  • Tape
  • Tongs

Activity: Grab Like a Crab

  • Put a piece of tape on the back of each crab graphic.
  • Place the crabs on the floor at one end of the room. 
  • Tape the cab graphic to a wall on the opposite side of the room. 
  • Read the How to Play "Grab Like a Crab" target text with your child.
  • Take turns using tongs to grab a crab and carry it to the cab, while saying, "Grab like a crab!" 
  • When the carrier gets to the cab with the crab, have the child stick the crab on the cab. 
  • When all 4 crabs are taped to the cab, have your child say, "Four crabs are on a cab!". 


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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.B: Associate the long and short sounds with the common spellings (graphemes) for the five major vowels.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.D: Isolate and pronounce the initial, medial vowel, and final sounds (phonemes) in three-phoneme (consonant-vowel-consonant, or CVC) words. (This does not include CVCs ending with /l/, /r/, or /x/.)