T, T, T, Tapping Toes
Ami Young
Emergent Reader

In order for children to become successful readers, they must first become phonemically aware of their letters.  Phonemes are the different sounds that letters make.  It is important for a child to not only learn the letter, but also how it sounds and the way the mouth moves in order to achieve that certain sound.  In this lesson, there will be a focus on the letter, as well as the way the mouth moves to achieve that sound.  The letter 'T' will be the primary focus in the lesson.  Students will be able to identify the capital and lower case 'T' , it’s mouth movement, and the sound /t/.

Primary paper
Construction paper
Illustration of jackhammer in shape of the letter 'T'

1.First, the teacher should review with the children all of the letter names and their phonemic sounds that they have learned so far.  After the review, the teacher should introduce the letter 'Tt'.  The teacher will as the students “Does anyone know what the letter 'T' looks like?'.  The teacher will then write the letter on the board so that the children are aware of its appearance.  The teacher will then tell the students that they will be learning about the fun letter 'T' and it’s sound.

2. The teacher will as the students if they have ever seen a jack hammer.  Then, explain to the students that when someone uses a jack hammer it makes the noise 'T T T T T' as it breaks apart dirt or concrete.  Then, show the students the illustration of the jackhammer in the shape of a “T”.

3. Then, have the students  take our their pencil and paper.  Then, guide the students through the process of writing the capital letter “T”.  “To make the capital letter T,  you draw a straight line going sideways starting at the rooftop. Then, you make a straight in the middle of the first line and make it go all the way down to the fence.”  “To make a lower case t you make a line going straight across on the top of the fence line.  Then, you make another like in the middle of that one going down to the bottom of the fence line.”

4. After showing the students what the 'T'looks like, help them achieve the phonemic sound that it makes.  Make a fun tongue twister that will make then children remember it’s letter sound. ' T says /t/.  Two tiny turtles  tap to Tony’s tunes”.  Have the students stretch out the sentence.  'TTTTTwo ttttttiny ttttttturtles ttttttap tttttttto Tttttttony’s tttttttunes'  Then explain to the children that when they feel their tongue hitting their teeth, that it is the correct way for their mouth to say /t/.

5. Introduce the book Turtle Time and talk about all of the words that make the /t/ sound.  When the students hear a word that says /t/, they should tap their foot onto the floor.

6. To assess the students in their achievement of the /t/ sound,  pair them in groups of 3 or 4 to a group.  Put a magazine with each group along with a pair of scissors and glue.  Give each student their own piece of construction paper.  Have the students use the magazine to find objects that make the /t/ sound.  After they find a picture, they can paste it to the construction paper.  After they are finished, each student can present to the class the different 'T' objects that they found.

Journal: Author: Steven Webb
Title: Ten Turtles Tapping in Time!
Auburn University, Catalysts, Summer 2006

Return to Projects index