The Ticking Clock with T


Emergent Literacy Design

By: Noelle Jones

·        Rationale: This lesson is geared to help children recognize /t/, the phoneme that is represented by T. The student will learn to identify /t/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful and authentic representation (the ticking motion and sound of a clock) and the letter symbol T, apply by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters, practice finding /t/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /t/ in phonetic cue reading.


Materials: Primary lined paper and pencil/pen; chart with "Tara, the talkative toddler took Tia's tater tots"; drawing paper and crayons/markers; Janet McDonnell's book Turtle's Adventure in Alphabet Town published by Scholastic Library Publishing; note cards with TOP, TICK, TALL, FALL, TEAM, SEAM, TEST, BEST


·        Procedures: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code we can access. The tricky part is learning what the letters stand for and the mouth moves we make as we pronounce each word.

2. Let's pretend that we're moving our finger like the pendulum on a Grandfather clock (show picture to child in case they haven't seen one), /t/, /t/, /t/. [Pantomime a ticking clock pendulum]. Do you notice where your teeth and lips are when you are making the /t/ sound? We spell /t/ with the letter T. T looks like a big tree with long branches or a monkey stretching out its' arms, and /t/ sounds like the ticking of a clock.


3. Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word felt. I'm going to stretch felt out in super slow motion, and I want you to listen for the ticking sound of the clock we talked about hearing. Fff-e-e-el-t. Slower: Fff-e-e-e-l-l-l-t. There it is! I felt my teeth touch together with my tongue touching the back of my teeth before opening my mouth. I can feel the /t/ "ticking of the clock" in the word felt.


4. Let's try a tongue twister (on the chart). "Tara, the talkative toddler took Tia's tater tots." Now, let's both say it together three times. Now say it again, and this time, I want you to stretch the /t/ at the beginning of each word. "Tttara, ttthe tttalkative tttoddler tttook Tttia's tttater tttots." Let's try it again, and this time I want you to try to break if off the word: "/t/ara, /t/ he /t/ alkative /t/ oddler /t/ ook /T/ ia's /t/ ater /t/ ots."


5. [Have student take out lined primary paper and pencil.] We use letter T to spell /t/. Capital T looks like a tree. Let's write the lowercase t. Start right on the rooftop and let's give Mr. T a strong backbone all the way down to the sidewalk. Then cross it down to the fence. Now, let's give him a nice hat across the top. Good job! Now, I want you to make nine more just like him.


6. Ask student to answer and tell how he knew: Do you hear /t/ in work or tree? Toe or finger? Trip or fall? Tame or wild? Frog or toad? Tick or clock? Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /t/ in some words. Each time you hear /t/ I want you to move your finger like a pendulum on a clock that goes "tick-tock" (model this for the student in case they have never seen one): Spit, pink, tame, stay, mad, fan, tear, light, flow, tray.


7. The teacher will say: "Let's take a look at an alphabet book that focuses on the letter T and its' sound /t/. The author, Janet McDonnell, tells us a story about an adventurous little animal whose name starts with T. Can you guess what animal that might be?" Read a few of the pages, and then draw out /t/. Ask the student if he can think of some other words with /t/. See if he can make up a silly creature name like Tut-tutter-Turtle or Tip-Tut-Turtle. Then have your student write the silly name with his invented spelling and draw a picture of the silly creature to go along with it. Display the work.


8. Show TOP, and model how to decide if it is pot or top: The T tells me to "tick tock" like the clock, /t/, so this word is ttt-op, top. Now you try some: TALL: tall or fall? TEAM: team or seam? TEST: test or best?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. J.T. (student) is able to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with T. Ask student to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Reference: "Making Friends with Phonemes"

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