T is for Teaching
Emergent Literacy
Jennifer Reinhart


Consonants produce sounds that are easier to identify than vowels.  Teaching the consonants first will give students a basis to help them identify vowels.  Consonants are a good starting point for learning to read.  The lesson will help students practice identifying the sound the grapheme T makes it words.  They must first learn to identify /t/ in spoken words. Students will learn to recognize /t/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /t/ in words.



Primary paper


picture of a timer

poster with Tim took Tylers train off a train track

 The ABCs of Auburn

The Hullabaloo ABC

 Miss Spiders ABC

Alfies ABC

2 assessment pages with words beginning with and ending with t.



1. Start the lesson by introducing each letter of the alphabet has its own sound.  English can be tricky because sometimes the letters can have more than one sound.  Today we are going to work on the letter T that makes the sound /t/, like a timer ticking.  We are going to work on finding /t/ in different words.

2. Ask students: Have you ever heard  you moms baking timer ticking?  Thats the sound we are looking for in words today.  Lets make the ticking sound together, /t/.  Lets move our hands like a clock is ticking.  Ok now move your arm as we say the ticks of the timer.

3. Ok, now lets say a tongue twister.  Tim took Tylers train off a train track.  Lets say it together three times.  Now we are going to say it with longer /t/ sounds.  T-T-T-Tim t-t-t-took T-T-T-Tylers t-t-t-train off a t-t-t-train t-t-t-track.

4. (Have students take out primary paper and a pencil)  Lets practice writing the letter t to represent the /t/ sound.  Lets write it together.  Start at the rooftop, draw a straight line all the way down to the sidewalk.  Lift your pencil and draw a line across the fence.  Good.  Now practice 5 more by yourself.  I am going to walk around and stamp them.  Now when you see t in words you will know to say the /t/ sound. 

5. Now lets see how we can find /t/ in words.  Lets look at the word not.  We will say it slow to see if we can find the sound /t/ in it.  N-n-n-n-o-t, n-n-n-o-o-o-t, n-n-n-o-o-o-t-t-t.  There it is at the end, /t/.

6. Lets see if we can find the /t/ sound in some other words.  Do you hear /t/ in top or low?  Do you hear /t/ in eat or food?  Do you hear /t/ in white or black?  Do you /t/ in one or two?  Now lets tick our timer if you hear the /t/ sound, Tim, took, Tylers, train, off, a, train, track.

7. Now we are going to read the T pages of 4 different alphabet books.  I will read each page aloud, then we will reread to find the words that have the /t/ sound.  We will write all the words we find on the board.   Students will then pick a word and write a sentence about it on their paper and then draw a picture to go with it.

8. For an assessment I will use two matching pages, one with the /t/ sound at the beginning of the word, and one with the /t/ sound at the end of the word.



Kidzone. http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/lettert.htm

Blackwell,  John.  The ABCs of Auburn. Auburn: Taylor Blackwell, 2005.

Cleary, Beverly. The Hullabaloo ABC. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1998.

Hughes, Shirley. Alfies ABC. New Yorl: Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1997.

Kirk, David. Miss Spiders ABC. New York: Scholastic Press, 1998.


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