Be a Ticking Clock with T



Emergent Literacy Design

Christina Statler


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /t/, the phoneme represented by T. b Students will learn to recognize /t/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (a clock’s ticking) and the letter symbol T, practice finding /t/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /t/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Tom’s tiny turtle took Tara’s tape"; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963); word cards with TIP, TOP, FEET, TIME, TEST, and TAKE; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /t/.



1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /t/. We spell /t/ with letter T. /t/ sounds like a ticking clock.


2. Let's pretend to be a clock, /t/, /t/, /t/. Notice where your tongue is? (Touching the back of your upper teetch). The sound /t/ is a quick, popping sound.


3. Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word left. I'm going to stretch left out in super slow motion and listen for my ticking clock. Lll-e-e-eft. Slower: Lll-e-e-e-fff-t There it was! I felt my teeth touch my lip and blow air. I can feel the clock ticking /t/ in left.g


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. “Tom’s tiny turtle took Tara’s tape." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, really punch the /t/ at the beginning of the words. "Tom’s Tiny Turtle Took Tara’s Tape" Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/t/ om’s /t/ iny /t/ urtle /t/ ook /T/ ara’s /t/ ape.


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter T to spell /t/. Capital T looks like a /t/ able. Let's write the lowercase letter t. Start just below the rooftop. Start to make a tall straight pole in the air, then straighten it out all the way down to the sidewalk. Then cross it at the fence. I want to see everybody's t. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.i


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /t/ in work or tan? finger or toe? Big or little? Tall or small? Stiff or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /t/ in some words. Give me a thumbs up if you hear /t/: The, tiny, green, turtle, taped, Tara’s, cat, to, her dog.


7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about turtles tumbling out of trees. Read that page, drawing out /t/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /t/. Ask them to make up a silly story with /t/. Then have each student write their silly story with invented spelling and draw a picture of their story. Display their work.


8. Show TIP and model how to decide if it is tip or flip: The T sounds like the ticking clock /t/, so this word is t-ip, tip. You try some: TOP: top or pop? FEET: feet or feel? TIME: time or mine? TEST: test or pest? TAKE: fake or take?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with T. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.k

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