dirty dishes

Dirty Dishes

Dirty Dishes
Target text


Recognize and name the letter D.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • dish
  • dirty
  • draw
  • dots
  • drip
  • dry


  • Styrofoam dishes
  • Spray water bottle
  • Small dish of dirt
  • Dish towel(s)

The children will wash and dry a special dish as they recognize and name the letter D.

Literacy Activities
Dirty Dishes

  • Write the letter on a whiteboard, name the letter, and have the children write the in the air with their fingers.
  • Show the children a dish with a D written on it and help the children identify the letter.
  • Demonstrate and then invite the children to help make the dish dirty by writing the letter D all over it in multiple colors using washable markers.
  • Invite the children to spray water droplets on the dish to make it damp. Tip the dish and observe the letters D as the drops drip down the dish.
  • Dry the dish and watch the colorful letters disappear.
  • Invite all of the children to make the dish damp again, then take turns sprinkling a little dirt on the dish to make it double dirty!
  • Spray water droplets to clean it, then dry the dish with a towel.
  • Encourage the children to repeat the activity as many times as desired.

More Practice
Write the target letter

  • Hold up a dish with a D written on it, and ask the children to name the letter on the dish.
  • Ask the children to write a D on a sticky note. Stick the note to a dish that you will display in the classroom as a reminder of the day you all made dirty dishes.
  • Have the children write a letter D on other sticky notes that they can stick on their shirts, jackets, and backpacks to remind them to share about Dirty Dish Day at school.
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SEEL At Home


Recognize and name the letter D.


  • Styrofoam dish
  • Washable markers
  • Spray water bottle
  • Dish towel

Activity: Dirty Dishes

  • Before the activity, write the letter D on the Styrofoam dish with washable markers.
  • Show your child the letter on the plate and ask him or her to identify it.
  • Invite your child to help make the dish dirty by writing the letter D all over it with the markers. 
  • When the dish is very dirty after writing all over it, spray water droplets to clean it. 
  • Dry the dish with a towel and check to be sure the letters have disappeared.
  • The activity can be repeated as desired.
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.