Emergent Literacy Design

Yvonne Flanary

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 (tick tock) 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.


 Primary paper and pencil; chart with “Tommy tricked Tim and took his train off the track." drawing paper and crayons; Ted and Tim (Merkel); word cards with TOLD, TAG, TACK, TAME; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /t/ (URL below).


1.  Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tough part is learning what letters stand for and how the mouth moves as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /t/. We spell /t/ with letter t. t looks like a little l with a line going from left to right in the middle of it, and /t/ sounds like a clock ticking.

2.   Let’s pretend to make a clock sound, /t/, /t/, /t/. Notice how your mouth is open and your tongue touches the top of your mouth behind your teeth. When we say /t/, our mouth is open; tongue touches top of mouth behind teeth.

3.   Let me show you how to find /t/ in the word tick. I'm going to stretch tick out in super slow motion and listen for tick tock clock sound. Ttt-i-i-ck. Slower: Ttt-iii-ck-

I felt my tongue touch the roof of my mouth, and my mouth was open. I can feel tick tock /t/ in tick.

4.  Let's try a tongue twister [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 of the 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 the /t/rack.

5.  [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter t to spell /t/. Capital T looks like an l with a dash across the top of it. Let’s write the lowercase letter t. Start just below the rooftop, go down to the sidewalk, then cross at the fence. I want to see everybody’s t.

6.  Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear/t/ in book or tag? Tick or hug? Go or top? Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /t/ in some words. Tick tock like a clock if you can hear /t/:  The, tornado, blew, over, tiny, trees, in, town.

7.  Say: “Let’s look at a book.  Ted and Tim are twins.  Can you guess what Ted brings Tim in this story?” Read page 7, showing Tim and his bag of ten chips. Ask children if they can think of any other words that start with /t/. Ask them to make up something that Ted could do. Then have each child write about Ted’s situation with invented spelling and draw a picture.  Display their work.

8.  Show TOP and model  how to decide if it is top or mop: The t tells me to make my tick tock sound/t/, so this word is ttt-op, top. You try some: TOLD: bold or told? TAME: same or tame

9.  For assessment, I will design a worksheet.  I will design a worksheet with pictures on it  that begin with the letter t. Students will draw a line to the picture that begins with the letter t and color the pictures that begin with letter g. Call students to read the phonetic cue words  from step #8.



“Ted and Tim” by Amanda Merkel  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/teacherbooks.html

Photo Image From


Assessment : http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/learning-letters/t.htm

         Sarah Plier :http://www.auburn.edu/~sep0008/PlierEmergent%20Literacy.htm

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