Grab a Crab

Grab a Crab
Target text


Read and write words that blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -ab.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • cab
  • crab
  • jab
  • stab
  • grab


  • Dried beans
  • Tray
  • Crab graphics
  • Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text
  • Clothespins and/or tongs
  • Word-building cards

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

Literacy Activities
Take a cab to grab a crab

  • Click here to view a video demonstration similar to this lesson. 
  • Fill a tray with dried beans to represent sand on a beach.
    • Cut out the crab graphics and bury them in the sand (dried beans).
  • Set up chairs to represent seats in a cab.
  • Read the Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text to the class.
  • Invite a child to pretend to call for a cab (using their hand to make a pretend telephone).
  • Have the children 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 take turns using clothespins or tongs to grab like a crab and search through the beans to find the crab graphics. 
    • While the children wait their turn to grab, have them pretend to be crabs that stab and jab with their claws.
  • After the children have taken a turn, tell them to leave the crabs in the sand and get in the cab.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • Let the children use the word-building cards to make words by changing either the consonant(s) or the vowel.
    • Change the beginning consonant(s): cab jab; grab crab; stab grab
    • Change the vowel: cab cub; crab crib; stab stub
    • Change the ending consonant: 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

  • Read the Take a Cab to Find a Crab target text with the children and have them underline the words that end in -ab.
  • Engage the children in reading the text with you.
  • Read the text again, fading support.
    • As the children read, have them open and close their hands like crab claws every time they hear or read a word ending in -ab

Write about the activity using target words and phrases

  • Display target words on a word wall (e.g., 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 (i.e., 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!
We'll 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 for the crabby crab!
It has a claw that can stab and jab.
Leave that crab in the sand.
Get back in the cab!
We'll ride home in the cab without a crab.


SEEL At Home

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Read and pronounce words that blend a beginning consonant or consonant blend with -ab to make words such as grab, crab, jab, and cab.   


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

Activity: Grab Like a Crab

  • Tape the crab graphics on a wall. 
  • Tape the cab graphic to the wall on the opposite side of the room. 
  • Read the How to Play "Grab Like a Crab" target text with your child.
    • Have your child underline all the -ab endings in the text. 
  • Take turns using tongs to grab a crab off the wall and carry it to the cab while saying, "Grab like a crab!" 
  • When the carrier reaches the cab with the crab, have the carrier stick the crab on the cab and say, “One crab on the cab.”
    • Repeat until all four crabs are on the cab.
    • When all four crabs are taped to the cab, say, "Four crabs are on the 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/.)