Tttick Tttock Said the Clock

Tick Tock Clock

Jessica Heron


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 (clock ticking) and the letter symbol T, practice finding /t/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /t/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.

Materials: Primary paper, pencil, chart with "Tommy tricked Tim and took his train off the track", drawing paper, crayons, Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963), word cards with TAKE; FLEE; TIME; MOSS; TOLD, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /t/ (URL below).


1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /t/. We spell /t/ with letter T. T is a simple letter that has only two lines, and /t/ sounds like a clock ticking.

2. Let's pretend to be a clock, /t/ttick /t/ttock. Notice what your mouth is doing!  Where is your tongue? (behind the top teeth). When we say /t/, we drop our tongue from the roof of our mouth (directly behind the top teeth) to the bottom.

3. Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word later. I'm going to stretch later out in super slow motion and listen for my tick tock T. Lll-A-A-ttt-er. Slower: Lll-A-A-ttt-er. There it was! I felt my tongue touch behind my top teeth and then drop down. I can feel the tick tock /t/ in later.

4. Let's try a tongue tickler [on chart]. "Tommy tricked Tim and took his train off the track." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /t/ at the beginning of the words. "Tttommy tttricked Tttim and tttook his tttrain off ttthe tttrack." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/t/ommy /t/ricked /t/im and /t/ook his /t/rain off /t/he /t/rack.

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter T to spell /t/. Capital T is very simple to make. It's just a line with a hat, but let's write the lowercase letter t. Start at the roof, drop all the way to the sidewalk, and cross the line at the fence. I want to see everybody's t. After I put a star on it, I want you to make nine more just like the one before.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /t/ in tall or ball? finger or toe? cap or cat? feet or sleep? Stiff or sore? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /t/ in some words. Tick tock like our clock if you hear /t/: Tim, turned, his, radio, to, listen, to, his, totally, awesome, tunes.

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about all the tired animals in their tree. Their name starts with T! Can you guess?" Read page 46, drawing out /t/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /t/. Then have each student write their word with invented spelling and draw a picture of their word. Display their work.

8. Show TOE and model how to decide if it is toe or low: The T tells me to tick tock, /t/, so this word is ttt-oe, toe. You try some: Take: take or make? FLEE: flee or tree? TIME: time or mine? MOSS: toss or moss? TOLD: told or mold?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with T. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Assessment worksheet:


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