Snail Mail for Whale


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • snail
  •  trail
  • pail
  • mail
  • whale
  • sail


  • Snail headbands (see below - optional)
  • 3x5 index cards (or small papers)
  • Masking tape or string (to create a trail)
  • Pail (placed somewhere in the room)
  • Picture of a whale (see below - place by the pail; optional)

State and model the objective
Tell the children that they will pretend to be snails and deliver mail to a whale while they practice saying words that rhyme with whale.

Practice the skill within an activity

Snail mail for whale

  • Give the children a snail headband to wear while they pretend to be snails (optional).
  • Ask the children what words rhyme with whale, giving a prompt as needed (e.g., tail, mail, trail, sail, pail).
  • With support, have children each draw a picture of an item that rhymes with snail on a 3x5 card (for mail).
  • Lead children in singing the Mail for the Whale song (see below).
    • For the first verse, walk along the trail.
    • For the second verse, pretend to get on a boat to sail to the whale to give him his mail. At the end of the verse, have the children drop off their mail in the pail for the whale. 
    • Get back on the boat, sail to the trail, and then sing the third verse of the song as you go down the trail to get home. 

Apply the skill

Practice rhyming

  • Review the rhyming words from the activity 
    • Ask the children to tell you what item that rhymes with whale they sent to the whale by saying, "I sent a ___ to the whale in the mail."  
  • Produce words that rhyme with thumb
    • Remind the children of the words they played with (hum, drum, strum, come).
    • Tell them you can think of other words that rhyme with hum (plum, numb, chum).  
    • Ask each child to think of a word that rhymes with thumb 
    • If a child doesn't respond in a few seconds, give him/her an option:  
      • "How about hum?  Does hum rhyme with thumb?" (Nod your head yes to let the child know that they rhyme) 
      • "Do drum and thumb rhyme?" (Nod your head yes)
  • Recognize rhyming words 
    • Have the children repeat a set of 2 words (e.g. thumb, hum)
    • Ask the children to show you thumbs up if the words rhyme and thumbs down if the words do not rhyme.
    • Repeat with other sets of words: (e.g., drum, strum; gum, come; thumb, 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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Mail for the Whale Song

(to the tune of A-Hunting We Will Go)
We’re going down the trail,    
We’re going down the trail,    
To send some mail to the whale,    
We’re going down the trail.  
Oh, on the boat we sail,  
Oh, on the boat we sail,  
To send some mail to the whale,  
Oh, on the boat we sail.
We’re going down the trail,  
We’re going down the trail,  
We sent some mail to the whale,  
We’re going down the trail. 


SEEL At Home

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


  • Masking tape or string (to make a trail on the ground)
  • Whale graphic (see below)
  • A few small sheets of paper (for mail)

Activity: Snail Mail for Whale

  • Say, “A whale hurt his tail! Let’s give the whale some mail to make him feel better.”
  • With support, have your child draw pictures of items that rhyme with whale (e.g., pail, tail, nail, sail), one per piece of paper (for mail).
  • Use masking tape or string to make a trail from one side of the area to the other, placing the whale graphic (see below) across the area from you and your child.
  • With your child, pretend to be a snail and slither along the trail to give the mail to the whale. 
  • After you have given the mail to the whale (set it on the graphic), ask your child to help you “read” the mail by identifying the pictures of things that rhyme with whale.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.



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