grab bag

Grab Bag
Target text


Read and write words that end in –ab, –ad, and –ag.

(This lesson may be best taught after –ab, –ad, or –ag has been introduced.)

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • grab
  • jab
  • bag
  • drag
  • sad
  • mad


  • Small items to put in the grab bags: pencils, paper clips, rags, tabs, stickers, flags, etc.
  • Paper or cloth bags
  • Sticky notes
  • Dull pointer to use to jab at a bag
  • Word blending cards
  • Word cards to put in grab bags
  • Grab Bag target text

The children will play with a grab bag while they read and write words that end in -ad, -ag, or -ab: grab, jab, nab, brag, rag, nag, snag, glad.

Literacy Activities
Explain how a grab bag works and play grab bag

  • Explain what a grab bag is.
  • Have multiple grab bags filled with items on a table and tell the children that they can choose which bag to grab.
  • Play grab bag by letting the children grab or snag one of the things found in their bag to keep (optional).
  • Say things like, “Don’t brag if you get something you think is neat,” or, “Don’t be a crab and act mad if you get something you don’t think is neat,” or, “Don’t nag to ask for a different bag.”
  • Comment on pretending to be mad or sad or glad, depending on what is in the bag.
  • Show the children how to jab (poke), nab (remove quickly), or snag (grab quickly) a bag from off the table.
  • Let the children grab, jab, nab, or snag a bag.
  • Comment on items that will be in the bag.

Put a name tag on the bag

  • Have each child put their name on a name tag (sticky note) and put the tag on a bag (one for each child).
  • Say, “Let’s grab the bag that says ________ (e.g., Sarah.) Continue until all bags have been distributed.
  • Remind the children to not be a crab (pout) or act mad if they get something they don’t like.

Drag bags and snag a word card

  • Fill some grab bags with word cards and tell the children that these grab bags have words in them that they will read together.
  • Have the children grab a bag from the table and drag it across the room before opening it.
  • Let each child snag a word card from the bag and read the word out loud.

More Practice
Identify, blend and manipulate sounds

  • With word blending cards, have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of the consonants (refer to the word lists made at the beginning of the lesson –as needed):
    • tag → bag rag nag snag
    • nab jab  grab
    • sad  mad glad
    • tag tab tan
    • nag  nab  nap
    • bag  bad  bat
    • jab  jam → jack
    • rag  ran  run

Read target words in a target text

  • Read the target text Grab Bag together with the children.
  • Read the target text again, fading support.
  • Have the children underline the words that end in –ab, –ad, or –ag (refer to the word list made at the beginning of the lesson as needed).

Write about the activity using target words/patterns

  • Give each child a whiteboard and have them write words from dictation, changing one or two letters each time to make a new word: tag, bag, rag, nag, nab, jab, jam, ram, tan, tab, nab, nap, nip
  • Engage the children in interactive writing about their experience by generating sentence frames and letting the children fill in target words and phrases by picking from options presented verbally or in writing.
    • We played ______  (grab bag).
    • We could _____(grab/snag) or _______ (jab/nab) a bag.
    • We didn’t get  ________(sad or mad) if we didn’t get something we liked.
    • And we didn’t act like a _______(crab).
    • If we got something we liked we didn’t _______ (brag).
    • We put our name on the  _______(name tag).
    • We got to _____  (drag) the bag.
    • We love to play _______ (grab bag).
Read More



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