A Pail on a Trail


Recognize (e.g. "Do pail and trail rhyme?") and/or produce (e.g. "What rhymes with pail?") words that rhyme with pail.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • pail
  • trail
  • tail
  • Dale


  • Farmer Dale nametag (not provided)
  • Pail (or a bowl or other type of container)
  • Farm animals with tails picture cards (see below)
  • Farmer Dale's Pail chant (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will follow Farmer Dale on his trail to feed animals from a pail and listen for words that rhyme with pail.  

Practice the skill within an activity

Farmer Dale and his pail

  • Before you start, give six children an animal card (see below) and have them spread out around the room.
  • Put on the Farmer Dale nametag, take the pail, and have the rest of the children line up behind you.
  • Tell the children that you are Farmer Dale, and together you will walk along a trail and feed animals that have tails.
  • Teach the children the Farmer Dale's Pail chant (see below)
  • Have the children walk with you to the first child holding an animal card, then recite and act out the chant, pretending to use the pail to feed the animals that have tails. 
  • Move to the next "animal" and repeat.
  • Point out to the children that Dale, pail, and tail all rhyme and ask what other words rhyme with pail. 

Apply the Skill

Practice rhyming

  • Produce words that rhyme with pail
    • Remind the children of the words they played with (Dale, pail, tail, trail).
    • Tell them you can think of other words that rhyme with pail (mail, fail, hail, shale).  
    • Ask each child to think of a word that rhymes with pail.
    • If a child doesn't respond in a few seconds, give him/her an option:  
      • "How about kale?  Does kale rhyme with pail?" (Nod your head yes to let the child know that they rhyme) 
      • "Do whale and pail rhyme?" (Nod your head yes)

Recognize rhyming words 

  • Have the children repeat a set of 2 words (e.g. pail, Dale)
  • Ask the children to pretend to wag their tail if the words rhyme and stay still if the words do not rhyme.
  • Repeat with other sets of words: (e.g., tail, kale; trail, snail; whale, mail; cat; hum, sum; plum, chum; drum, truck; strum, gum).
  • If children do not respond correctly, repeat the 2 words, emphasizing the ending sounds of the words.  

SEEL Target Texts

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Farmer Dale’s Pail (A Chant)

Farmer Dale is on a trail, feeding animals from a pail.
He needs to feed animals that have a tail.
    (Pick up and look at a picture card)
Does a ___ have a tail? (name the pictured animal)
He will feed it from his pail.
    (If the animal has a tail, then pretend to feed that animal)


SEEL At Home

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Recognize (e.g., “Do trail and Dale rhyme?”) and/or produce (e.g., “What rhymes with trail?”) words that rhyme with trail.


  • Masking tape or string to make a trail on the ground
  • Picture cards (see below)
  • Pail (or cup or bowl)
  • Farmer Dale’s Pail chant (see below)

Activity: Pail on a Trail

  • Read the Farmer Dale’s Pail chant (see below) to your child.
  • Repeat it together again, listening for words that rhyme with pail: Dale, trail, pail, tail.
  • Using masking tape or string, make a trail on the floor and lay the picture cards (see below) along it.
  • As you along the trail together, pick up and identify an animal card (see below). 
  • Help your child recite and act out the chant, putting the pictured animal’s name into the chant.
  • Decide together if the animal on the card has a tail or not, and use the pail to pretend to feed the animals that have tails.
  • Repeat for each animal on the trail.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.

Farmer-Dale's-Pail-chantpicture cards


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CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.2.A: Recognize and produce rhyming words.