TTT-TAP with T

Kristina Goodwin

Emergent Literacy Design

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 (tapping) and the letter symbol T. We will practice finding /t/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness in phonemic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper, pencils, drawing paper, chart with Tina taps her toes to the tune, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /t/.


1.      Say: Have you ever noticed that your mouth moves in many different ways when we speak? That's because there are many different letters that we say when we talk. The hardest part is figuring out how to correctly move your mouth when saying certain letters. Today we are going to work on spotting the mouth move /t/. Well spell /t/ with the letter T. T looks like a table and we can 'Tap' a table.

2.      Let's start tapping the table. Now let's say /t/ /t/ /t/ as we tap the table making the noise that we here when we tap the table. Now notice what our moths are doing while we make this noise. When we say /t/ our tongue presses against the roof of our mouth.

3.      Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word mat. Now I'm going to say the word mat slowly and I want you to tell me when you hear the /t/ sound like when we were tapping the table.  Me mm-a-a-a-t-t-t. Did you hear it?! As I made the noise I felt my tongue press up against the roof of my mouth.

4.      Let's try a tongue twister Tina taps her toes to the tune

5.      (Now we will use primary paper) Let's write the lowercase /t/. Start by drawing a stick going from the top of the line to the bottom of the line. Now draw a small sideways stick crossing through the middle of the T. After I put a check mark on your paper I want you to make 6 more t's.

6.      (Now I will ask student which words they hear the /t/ sound in). Do you hear /t/ in map or mat? Right or wrong? Up or left? Pot or pan? Now let's see if you can feel your tongue press against the roof of your mouth as you say these words. Tap on the desk if you hear the /t/ sound when I say these words: Tina, cat, master, bid, pillow, bat, and butterfly.

7.      Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny creature

Whose name starts with T. Can you guess?" Ask children if they can think of other words with /t/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like'., or'. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.

8.      Show FOG and model how to decide if it is toe or Moe: The T tells me to tap the desk when I hear the /t/, so this word is ttt-ooo-eee, toe. You try some: CAT, Cat or map? Top or cop? Hit or him? Stop or bop? For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with T Call students individually read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


Murray, Bruce

Assessment worksheets: