Three Thieves


Read and write words spelled with the digraph th.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • thief
  • thump
  • thud
  • three


  • Raccoon graphics (see below)
  • Raccoon thief word cards (see below)
  • Three Thieves target text (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children that they will find three thieves and they will read and write words spelled with th: thump, thud, thief. Point out that the letters th written together make the /th/ sound.

Practice the skill within an activity

  • Three thieves
    • Read the text Three Thieves to the children and have them find and circle the letters th throughout the text.
    • Read the text again slowly and have the children thump their foot every time they hear a word in the text with the /th/ sound.
    • Allow the children to act out the text using the raccoon graphics
      • Make a thump sound.
      • Make a thud sound.
      • Pretend to look outside.
      • Pretend to see the three raccoons searching through a trashcan.
      • Make more thump and thud sounds.
      • Show relief that it was not a real thief.
    • Have the children label each raccoon picture thief.
  • Find the raccoon thieves
    • Hide the raccoon thief word cards (see below) around the room.
    • Allow the children to search for the cards.
    • Help the children read the word on each word card.
    • Point out that all of the words have the letters th.

Apply the skill

  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Read the target text Three Thieves to the children.
    • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
    • Read the target text Three Thieves again fading support.
    • Have the children make a list of the words from the text with the letters th.
  • Write about the activity using target words/patterns
    • Help the children create a word wall (or use one previously created) of words spelled with th (i.e., thump, thud, thief, three) then have the children write a sentence about the raccoon thieves (e.g., Three raccoon thieves thump and thud).

SEEL Target Texts

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Three Thieves

I hear a thump!
I hear a thud!
I think something is outside.
I think I see a thief!
Wait, the thump is not from a threatening thief.
The thump is from three raccoons in the trash!
Three raccoon thieves make a lot of thumps and thuds.
I am so thankful it was not a real thief!



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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.