“T...Tick-Tock Goes the Clock”

Emergent Literacy

Jennifer Ivey





Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /t/, the phoneme represented by T. Students will learn to recognize /t/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (ticking motion with arm) 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; poster with tongue tickler: “Timmy taught tigers to tumble”; picture of a clock; dry erase board and marker; drawing paper and coloring utensils; cards with the words; assessment worksheet to identify pictures with /t/ (http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/phonics-beginningsounds/letter-t_WFNTM.pdf).



1. To begin the lesson, I will first introduce the letter /t/ by asking if anyone can tell me what sound a clock makes? Tick tock, tick tock, is right! Today we are going to work on saying and locating the letter /t/.  We will now work on the /t/ sound by using our hands to tick-tock like a clock. We will put our arms up and wave them like windshield wipers going back and forth.

2. I will then discuss how the tongue hits the roof of your mouth then pushes against the front of your teeth to make the /t/ sound. We will all try making the /t/ sound together. We will next try to make the sound like a clock, tick-tock, tick-tock!

3. Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word letter.  I'm going to stretch letter out very slowly and listen for /t/.  L-ee-ttt-ee-r.  Slower: ll-ee-tttt-ee-rr. There it was!  I felt my tongue then the roof of my mouth. I can hear myself say /t/ in letter.

4. Let's try a tongue tickler [on chart]. "Timmy taught tigers to tumble." Everybody say it three times together tick your arms each time you hear /t/. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /t/ at the beginning of the words as I point to them. "Ttttt-i-mmmm-yyy tttttaaaauggghtt ttttt-i-ggg-e-rrr-s tttt-ooo ttt-u-mm-b-l-eee." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/t/immy /t/aught /t/igers /t/o /t/umble. “

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter t to spell /t/. Can we all hold our pencil on the dotted line that has fence written beside it on our paper? Now, take you pencil straight down all the way to the sidewalk. Now all you have to do is draw another line along the fence. Now you have made the letter t! After I put a smile on your paper, I want you to make five more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /t/ in stack or tack? Tap or Map? Son or ton? Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /t/ in some words. Tick-tock your arms when you hear /t/: tiger, monkey, tent, ball, cake, table, mop.

7. I will explain and then read this story about the letter /t/ called, Tony's Trip and the letter T (Alphabet Friends) by Cynthia Fitterer Klingel and Robert B. Noyed. This book is about a little boy named Tony and his trip to a toy store where he is introduced to the letter t. Does anyone here the /t/ sound in the title of this story? Listen really close for the /t/ sound: "Tony's Trip to the Toy store. Let's read and see what Tony finds in the Toy Store that starts with the letter t! Keep a close listen for each toy that has the /t/ sound. After, have each student draw a picture of toy that has the letter /t/ sound.

8. Show TAP and model how to decide if it is tap or map: The T tells me move my arms like a clock and move my tongue from the roof of my mouth to my teeth, /t/, so this word is ttt-aaa-ppp.  You try some: TENT: tent or sent? TABLE: table or stable? TOCK: tock or clock?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to complete the partial spellings by coloring the pictures that begin with T. I will call on students to discuss their answers to the worksheet and procedure #8. http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/t-begins2.htm


Klingel, Cynthia, and Robert Noyed. Tony's Trip and the Letter T. Child's World, 2003. 24.



Assessment Worksheet:



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