Thick and Thin


Read and write words spelled with the digraph th.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • thick
  • thin
  • thump
  • thud
  • think


  • Thick and thin graphics (see below)
  • Thick and thin objects (e.g., books, markers, pencils, pens)
  • A single sheet of paper
  • Thick and Thin Things target text (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children they will decide if objects are thick or thin as they read and write words spelled with th: thick, thin, thump, thud.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Thick and thin objects
    • Introduce the words thick and thin and point out that the letters th written together make the /th/ sound.
    • Show the children the pictures of objects (see below) and have them decide if the object is thick or thin, putting their thumbs up if the object is thick and thumbs down if it is thin.
    • Show the children real objects of varying thickness (e.g., books, markers, pencils, pens) and have them show thumbs up or thumbs down again.
    • Ask the children if they think the objects will make a thump sound when dropped.
    • Have the children close their eyes and listen while you drop a book then have them listen while you drop a thin sheet of paper.
    • Comment that objects like a book make a thud sound, but objects like a thin sheet of paper do not make a thud sound.
    • Allow the children to drop objects and say, “Thump!” or “Thud!” as they drop the objects.
    • Review the words from the activity that start with th with the children, letting them take turns highlighting the th as desired.
  • Thick and thin word cards
    • Help the children read the word cards (see below) and have them circle the letters th at the beginning of each word.
    • Have the children fold some of the word cards one time and some of the word cards three times.
    • Point out that the word cards with three folds are thicker than the word cards with one fold.
    • Show the children thick and thin thread and needles (with the pointed end taped) and allow them to try to thread the types of thread through the needles (optional).

Apply the skill

  • Read target words in a text
    • Have the children underline the words spelled with th in the target text Thick and Thin Things (see below).
    • Read the target text to the children.
    • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
    • Read the text again fading support.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Have the children write words from dictation using thick and thin markers or crayons: thin, thick, thump, thud, thing, this, that.
    • Comment that the thick crayons make thick letters and the thin markers make thin letters.
    • Have the children write, “This paper is thin” on a sheet of paper, and underline the th in this and thin.
    • Instruct the children to fold the paper four times then write, “This paper is thick” on the folded paper, and underline the th in this and thick.

SEEL Target Texts

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Thick and Thin Things

Some things are thick.
Some things are thin.
Sometimes thick and thin things get dropped.
When some thick things gets dropped, I think they might make a thump or thud.
But if a thin piece of paper gets dropped, I don’t think it will make a thump or thud.
Try dropping some thin and thick things to see which ones make a thump or thud.
Think about some thin and thick things that might make a thump or thud.
Think of some thick and thick things that might not make a thump or thud.
Let’s drop some thick and thin things.



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.A: Know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.B: Decode regularly spelled one-syllable words.