snail mail for whale

Target text


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

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

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


  • 3x5 index cards (or small papers)
  • Masking tape or string
  • Pail
  • Snail headbands (optional)*
  • Whale graphic (optional)*

*Items included below.

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will pretend to be snails delivering mail to a whale as they recognize and produce words that rhyme with whale, such as trail, pail, dale, and bale.

Literacy Activities
Snail mail for whale

  • Lay tape or string out as a trail and place a pail somewhere in the room.
  • Give the children a snail headband (see below) to wear while they pretend to be snails (optional).
  • Help the children think of words that rhyme with whale (e.g., tail, mail, trail, sail, pail).
  • Have each child draw a picture of one of the items on a 3x5 card for the mail.
  • Lead the children in singing and acting out the Mail for the Whale song:
First Verse Walk along the trail
Second Verse Pretend to get on a boat to sail to the whale to give him his mail, then put the mail in the pail for the whale.
Third Verse Get back on the boat, sail to the trail, and then go back down the trail to get home

Review the rhyming words from the activity 

  • Have the children take turns pulling a piece of mail out of the pail for the whale and help them identify the picture on the mail.
  • Help the children use the rhyming word in a sentence by saying, "I sent a ___ (e.g., tail) to the whale in the mail." (support as needed).
  • Point out that the items all rhyme with whale.

Produce words that rhyme with whale

  • Remind the children of the words they played with whale from the main activity (mail, snail, pail, trail).
  • Ask each child to think of a word that rhymes with whale, supporting as needed.

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 and produce words that rhyme with whale.


  • Masking tape or string
  • Whale graphic
  • A few small sheets of paper

Activity: Snail Mail for Whale

  • Pretend with your child that a whale hurt his tail and say, "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.
  • Use masking tape or string to make a trail from you and your child to the whale graphic (see below) across the room.
  • With your child, pretend to be a snail and slither along the trail to give the mail to the whale. 
  • Ask your child to help you “read” the mail by identifying the pictures of things that rhyme with whale.



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