Pin the Fin
Target text


Read and write words ending in –in.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • pin
  • fin
  • win
  • spin
  • chin
  • grin 


  • Large fish picture
  • Paper fins
  • Pushpins
  • Blindfold 
  • Pin the Fin target text

The children will play Pin the Fin as they read and write words ending in –in such as pin, fin, win, and spin.

Literacy Activities
Pin the fin

  • Direct the children’s attention to the fish graphic that you have secured to the wall, and show them where the fin should be.
  • Choose a child to blindfold and give him or her a fin and pushpin. Gently spin the child a few times while everybody chants, “Spin, spin, spin!”
  • Allow the child to find the fish and try to pin the fin. Chant as a class, “Pin the fin! Pin the fin!”  
  • When the child pins the fin shout, “Pin, fin, win!” 
  • Allow each child a turn to pin the fin. 

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word blending cards, have the children make new words by changing either of the consonants or the vowel:
    • pin  fin; bin win; tin grin
    • pin pan; bin bun; tin ten
    • pin pit; bin bid; tin  tip

Read target words in a text

  • Display the Pin the Fin target text on the board so that all of the children can easily see it.
  • Read the text together as a group. Have the children spin each time they hear a word that ends with –in
  • Read the text again, fading support.
  • Allow one child at a time to underline an –in word from the text. Repeat until all –in words have been underlined.

Pass a fin with a grin

  • Have the children sit in a circle and take turns passing the fin
  • As the children get the fin, have them say a new word that ends in -in  and grin as they pass the fin to the next child.
  • Write each new word on the board.
  • Repeat the game, but this time, have the children write each word on the paper fin.
  • Allow the children to write a sentence about a fin using the words written on the graphic.
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SEEL Target Texts

Pin the Fin

Here is a fin to pin on the fish.
Now you can spin.
Spin, spin, spin!
Pin the fin on the fish.
If you get the fin on the fish, you win!
Do I see a grin?
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SEEL At Home


Read and write words ending in -in.


  • Fish picture and fins
  • String or yarn
  • Scarf or bandana
  • Clothespins
  • Paper and pencil

Activity: Pin the Fin

  • Attach string or yarn to the fish picture and hang it from the ceiling, window, or door within your child's reach.
  • Help your child put on the blindfold and spin him or her around as you chant, "Spin, spin, spin!"
  • He or she must then try to pin the fin with the clothespin while you chant, "Pin the fin! Pin the fin!"
  • When a pin is placed on or near the fin, shout, "Pin, fin, win!"
  • Take turns putting on the blindfold and trying to pin the fin.
  • Have your child dictate the instructions, using as many -in words as possible, for how to play Pin the Fin while you write them down. Support as needed.
  • Read the instructions together, emphasizing the -in words.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.Fish-and-Fins
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.