pick up a crab

Pick up a Crab

Pick up a Crab
Target text


Read and write short-vowel words.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • leg
  • crab
  • pick
  • grip
  • pinch
  • catch
  • shell


  • Picture of a crab*
  • Word-building cards*
  • You Can Pick up a Crab target text*
  • Video: How to Hold a Crab by Marine Mumbles, 2020 (optional)

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective  
Tell the children that they will learn how to pick up a crab and that they will read and write short-vowel words, such as leg, crab, pick, grip, pinch, catch, and shell

Literacy Activities  
Introduce target words

  • Display short-vowel target words (e.g., leg, crab, pick, grip, pinch, catch, shell).
  • Read the words with the children.

Pick up a crab

  • Show the How to Hold a Crab video, by Marine Mumbles, to the children (optional).
  • Read the You Can Pick up a Crab target text (see below) with the children.
  • Cut out the paper crab (see below) and fold down its legs, so the crab can “stand” on them.
  • Have the children follow the instructions (in the text and video) to pick up paper crabs.
  • Have the children write short-vowel words from dictation.

Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word-building cards (see below), have the children make new words by changing a consonant or the vowel.
    • Change the beginning consonant: leg→ peg, catch→ patch, fast→ cast
    • Change the vowel: dog→ dug, leg→ lag, crab→ crib
    • Change the ending consonant: crab→ cram, grip→ grin, can→ cat

Identify vowel sounds

  • Stretch out your arms and lengthen the vowel as you say target words (e.g., leg, crab, pick, grip, pinch, catch, shell).
  • Have the children identify the initial, medial, and final sounds in each word and then write the word.
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SEEL Target Texts

You Can Pick up a Crab

A crab can run fast in the sand.
You must be fast to grab a crab.
But a crab has claws.
A crab can snap you if you pick it up.
A crab’s claws can pinch.

But you can pick up a crab.
You can pick up a crab, and it will not pinch you.

To pick up a crab, get behind it.
Keep the claws away from you.
Grab the crab from the back and top of the shell.
The crab’s legs will stick out.
It cannot get you.
The crab cannot pinch your hand.

Did you get it?
Did you grab the crab?

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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.