Whirl Your Word Wheelie


Give hands-on early reading (or learning another language) a whirl! Create a wheelie, read a word, and uncover the hidden picture to build your vocabulary.


1. Pick a letter. Here’s a great small group project—whole alphabets are waiting, so you can exchange wheelies! Choose a letter or character (this works in any language). List several words that begin with that letter using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Check spelling and erase to correct.

2. Do a wheelie. Choose a shape that begins with your letter and has a part that moves. For example, the letter O could be an octopus with a leg. We drew an apple and stem for A. Draw your shape on a recycled file folder. Cut it out with Crayola Scissors. Ask an adult to help cut two holes in it: one on the outside, the other closer to the center (see the picture). Color your wheelie.

3. Create a spinner. Draw a circle that is slightly smaller than the wheelie. Place the wheelie on top of the circle. Secure with a brass paper fastener. On the circle, write words in the inner spaces. Draw matching pictures on the outer spaces. Color code them if you like. Remove the paper fastener.

4. Make a hider. From file folder scraps, draw and cut out the moveable piece. Make sure that it is big enough to cover the outer hole. Attach it with a paper fastener to the wheelie. Reattach the wheelie to the circle.

5. Read! Cover the pictures. Whirl your wheelie! Read the word that shows. Uncover the picture to make sure that you read the word correctly.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Trade wheelies with other groups to expand the possibilities and introduce an element of mystery.
  • Make similar wheels for other letters and other parts of speech, such as phonemes and digraphs. The same idea is great for spelling, vocab, and even math!
  • For a different challenge, cover the word. Spell the word shown in the picture.
  • Assessment: Students correctly spell and read all words on their wheelies.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Erasable Colored Pencils
  • Blunt-Tip Scissors
  • Construction Paper
household supplies
  • recycled file folders
  • brass paper fasteners



  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students work in small groups to compose alphabetical sets of vocabulary words and matching pictures.

  • Students problem solve fabrication of their word wheel.

  • Students recognize and self-test words from their sets.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards