a dress for bess

A Dress for Bess

Target text


Recognize words that rhyme with dress (e.g., "Do dress and Bess rhyme?") and produce rhyme words (e.g., "Think of a word that rhymes with dress.").

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • dress
  • Bess
  • mess
  • guess
  • press
  • less


  • Large paper doll
  • Real or paper doll dress
  • Small paper dolls
  • A Dress for Bess target text
  • Child's party dress (optional)

The children will help Bess press her dress while they recognize and produce words that rhyme with dress, such as mess, press, less, and guess.

Literacy Activities
A Dress for Bess

  • Read the A Dress for Bess target text to the children and act it out with the large paper doll. 
  • Emphasize that many of the words in the story rhyme with dress.
  • Ask the children what words they remember that rhyme with dress.
  • Give the children small paper dolls and a crayon so they can make a “mess” on the paper doll’s dress with a crayon each time you say a word that rhymes with dress.

More Practice 

  • Ask the children to think of a sentence they can say that rhymes with dress
  • Invite them to share with the class. 
Read More

SEEL Target Texts

A Dress for Bess

This is Bess.
This is a dress for Bess.
This dress is a special dress for Bess.
Can you guess when Bess will wear her dress?
Bess will wear her dress on her birthday!
Look at the dress. Bess loves her dress!
Oh no! The dress is a mess!
Can you guess why the dress for Bess is a mess?
How can we fix the mess on the dress for Bess?
Maybe Bess could press the dress with her iron?
Then the dress mess will be less.
Press, press, press the mess on the dress.
Look, the mess is less!
Now Bess can wear her dress.
Read More


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