Emergent Literacy
Tricky T

Alison Bradley 

Rationale: One of the two best predictors of students' success in reading is their ability to
recognize and name letters of the alphabet (
Adams).  In the early years, it is crucial for teachers to teach the alphabet and the corresponding phonemes.  Children need to be able to recognize letters and connect a meaning to the letter symbol.  This lesson is designed to teach the letter T.  They will identify the letter, write it, and also identify pictures that display it’s beginning sound.



            ABC's By: Dr. Seuss
            Enlarged letter T out of posterboard
            Tongue twister on a sentence strip: Tim took his tick tock clock to town
            Chart paper and marker
            Primary paper (enough for each child) and pencils
            Picture cards containing (bat, ball, hand, foot, tall person, short person, tree,
            flower, dog, cat)

1.      Introduce the lesson: "Today we are going to be learning about the letter T and the sound that it makes. We need to know about this letter because we use it to write different words and read lots of books. We are going to be learning how to write this letter too!"

2.      Hold up the letter T and ask the children, "What letter is this? Right! This is the letter T. Does anyone know what sound it makes? It makes the /t/ sound, like in the words, 'trick and time.'"

3.      Introduce the tongue twister to the students. Hold up the sentence strip: "Ok, now lets say the tongue twister together: Tim took his tick tock clock to town. Good!"

4.      Practice writing the letters, both uppercase and lowercase with the children on chart paper. "Now, that we know what the letter T looks like and what sound it makes, we are going to practice writing it. Everyone get a pencil and the paper that I gave you. To make a big T, or uppercase, we will make a straight line at the top like this, and a line going down from the center of the other line. Now you try. To make the small T or the lowercase T, we will make another straight line going down, but this time we will cross it at the fence instead of at the top. I want you all to practice writing both of these letters and I’ll come around to see them."

5.      Next, use the picture cards. Hold up a picture of a bat and a ball and ask which picture has the letter T in its name. "What pictures do you see here? Right! A bat and a ball. Which picture has the letter T in its name? Good! The Bat!" Do this with all the cards.

6.      Read the book, ABC’s by: Dr. Seuss to reinforce the other letters of the alphabet, and the letter T. Ask the children to raise their hands when we arrive at the "T page."

7.      For  the assessment, give the children a picture sheet  and have them write the letter  t on the pictures that begin with that sound.


            Marilyn Jager Adams (1990). Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning About

    Print, A Summary by Steven A. Stahl, Jean Osborn, and Fran Lehr.  Urbana, IL: Center for the Study of Reading.

Christie Shelton: http://www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/insp/sheltonel.html

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