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Ticking Clock with T

Ticking Clock with T

Lesson for Emergent Literacy

Rationale: This lesson will help students identify /t/, the phoneme represented by the letter T. Students will learn to identify /t/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (listening to a clock) 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 pencils; Tongue Tickler Chart: “Tommy tricked Tim and took his train off the track.”; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /t/ (See link below); word cards with TACK, TOP, HUG, BOY, TEST, MAN, and TIP.  Book: Thomas the Tank Engine

Procedures: 1. Say: How we speak is a secret code. We just have to learn what the letters stand for- how our mouth moves when we say the letters. Today, we are going to be spotting the movement of our mouth when we say /t/. We spell /t/ with the letter T. T stands tall like a big clock, and /t/ makes a sound like a ticking clock.


2. Let’s pretend to be a ticking clock. /t/, /t/, /t/. [hand gesture like a ticking clock]. Notice where the tip of your tongue is when you say /t/. When we say /t/ the tip of our tongue hits the top of our mouth. Do you hear the ticking clock in time?


3. Let me show you how to find /t/ in time. I am going to stretch out time in SUPER slow motion and listen for our ticking clock. Tt-i-i-ime. Slower: Ttttt-i-i-i-i-immee. There it was! Did you hear it? I felt the tip of my tongue hit the roof of my mouth. So, our ticking clock is in the word time.


4. Let’s try out a tongue tickler [on chart]: “Tommy tricked Tim and took his train off the track.” Let’s all say it together three times. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /t/ at the beginning of the words. “Tttttoommy tttttrrriiickkedd Tttiiim and ttttoooookkk his ttttrrainnn off ttthhee tttrraacckk.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/t/ommy /t/ricked /t/im and /t/ook his /t/rain off /t/he /t/rack.”

5. [Students take out Primary Paper and pencil] We use the letter T to spell /f/. Let’s write a capital T. First you make a straight line at the rooftop, and then you will drop a straight line from the rooftop to the sidewalk. Now, let’s make lowercase t’s. First you drop a straight line from the rooftop to the sidewalk, and then next you will cross it at the fence. I want to see everyone’s t’s. Once I put a smiley face on your paper, I want you to write nine more t’s.

6. Call on the students to answer and have them explain why: Do you hear /t/ in trick or face? Tone or plan? To or from? Task or book? Trap or door? Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth movement /t/ in some words. If you hear /t/ then swing your arm like a ticking clock. Top, Mat, Trip, Key, Tar, Twist, Chair, and Tape.

7. Say: “Let’s look at a popular character whose name is filled with ticking T’s. Can you guess who it is going to be?” Read Thomas the Tank Engine.  Then ask the children if they can think of any words that start with /t/. Ask the students to come up with a silly creature and give it name like Tom-Tucker-Tilly-Tap. Have each student write his or her silly name with invented spelling and create a picture. Display their work.

8. Show TACK and model how to decide if it is tack or back: the T tells me to make the ticking clock, /t/, so this word is tttt-ack, tack. You try some: TOP: top or mop? HUG: hug or tug? BOY: boy or toy? TEST: test or best? MAN: man or tan? TIP: sip or tip?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Have the students complete the assessment worksheet pertaining to the letter T. Call the students individually to read the phonetic cue words on cards from step #8.


Reference: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/

Assessment worksheet: http://www.morecoloringpages.com/work-sheets/color-the-picture-which-end-with-letter-t_3009_color.html

Lindsey Smith 


Thomas the Train: 

Awdry, W. Thomas and the Breakdown Train ; Thomas and the Freight Cars. New York: Scholastic, 2001. Print.

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