Tree, tree.../t/-/t/-/t/

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SWBAT recognize and name the letter T and its sound. SWBAT build vocabulary centered around the letter/sound T.

Big Idea

T is for tree. What else is T for?

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

I always start off my letter/sound instruction by singing two ABC songs.  The first one focuses just on the letters and order of the alphabet.  The second one focuses on the sound of each letter.  I sing these songs every day of the school year.  Even though I have not formally taught every letter and sound at this time of year, the kids quickly learn the songs and they actually recognize many of the letter sounds before I have formally taught them.  Here is a picture of the chart we use while singing!

We then review pictures that begin with the sound of T.  I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter.  You will see this pattern throughout my lessons:

I say(name of picture)

Students  say(name of picture)

We all say letter sound three times. 


For example, I may begin with the picture of 'turtle' with the letter T.  I say: Turtle.  Students say: Turtle.  We all say:  /t/ /t/ /t/

 If you do not have picture cards, here is a video that I also use to reinforce the letter, sound and /t/ words.  It is very repetitive and is manageable for my second language learners.  


Explicit instruction in both the isolated sound and letter formation is crucial for both reading and writing in kindergarten!  It helps students sound out words when reading and spell words when writing.



Interact with Concept

45 minutes

Tree- Students are going to create a 'letter art' piece that we will post for the whole week.  Depending on my students, I give them a capital letter T frame to work with or I will let them create the tree without the frame.  

If we use the T as a frame, I model cutting out the T first.  I point out that we cut ON THE LINE and model this for the kids. 

After I cut the T, I model gluing it onto a piece of blue construction paper so that when the tree is done it resembles a tree outside against a blue sky.

I then show the students how to glue brown construction paper 1” squares that I precut into the ‘trunk’ of the T.  I glue green 1” squares ( either construction paper or tissue paper) that I have precut into the top part of the T to finish off their tree. 

I have also had them make the tree with as a tear paper art where students tear small pieces of brown and green to create the tree.  Either way works, but usually I precut the squares because tear paper art is very time consuming in the first half of the year.  When I finish my tree, I put my name on it and remind the kids to do the same when they finish theirs.

I release one row at a time to get up, get a letter T and go to their seats to cutting. There is no need to color the T because we are gluing on colored paper. 

My students have scissors in their desks.  I monitor and assist where necessary as students cut.  When they finish cutting, students must raise their hand.  I come over to check their cutting.  If it is correct and they are finished, I tell them to put their trash in the trashcan and go get a glue and construction paper. 

Once they are done gluing their T onto the construction paper, they raise their hand again.  If it is done correctly, I tell them to go get 10 brown squares ( I leave those in a large pile on the floor in the front of the room)  and they glue those on the trunk of the T.  I am constantly monitoring all students.  

After they glue on their brown, they can then go count out 10 green squares and glue the ‘leaves’ on their tree. When the green is glued, they put their name on the paper and bring it to a table in the room to dry.  They put glue and scissors away and find their workshop center for the day. 


Extend Understanding

20 minutes

Centers: Students rotate through the centers, going to one per day.  I have a centers chart where they find their name daily and what center they are assigned to for that day. My centers are designed to address skills that students need, be it fine motor, gross motor or academic. 

1.Pocket Chart- Students sort pictures into groups in a large pocket chart.  I put a mix of pictures (tree, mop, snake, snowman, mask, turtle, mailbox, tent, etc…)  in a basket and students sort them into three groups: /t/,  /m/ and /s/

2. Writing-I use the Ellison Die Cut letters and punch T and t from fine grain sandpaper and glue them to 4” x 5” pieces of construction paper for durability.  Students trace the letters with their fingers using proper letter formation that has been both modeled and practiced.  I will also include other letters (Mm, Ss, Hh) that I have provided direct instruction in for students to review and practice further. (tactile fine motor),

3.  Art- T cut and paste-Students distinguish /t/ ‘feathers’ and glue those /t/ feathers into  a turkey picture.

4. Computer- students can listen to /t/ pictures and a story on

5.  Listening- Students listen to a variety of letter/sound songs that review letters and sounds.