Thumb Thrower


Read and write words with the digraph th.

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • thumb
  • throw
  • think
  • thing
  • thump
  • thud


  • Thing-a-ma-bobs to flick with a thumb (i.e., small unnamed things)
  • Bucket or large bowl to try to flick objects into
  • The Thumb Can Throw Things target text (see below)

State and model the objective
Tell the children that they will use their thumb to throw things and they will also read and write words spelled with th: thump, thumb, thud. Point out that the letters th written together make the /th/ sound.

Practice the skill within an activity.

  • Throw a thing-a-ma-bob
    • Teach the children how to flick a small object with their thumb and comment that their thumb is a thumb thrower.
    • Tell the children they can use their thumb thrower to throw thing-a-ma-bobs and thing-a-ma-jigs (explain that thing-a-ma-bobs and thing-a-ma-jigs are things without names).
    • Allow the children time to use their thumb thrower to try to throw objects into a bucket or large bowl.
    • Comment on the sounds things make when they are thrown: thump, thud, thwack.
  • Throw words that start with th
    • Help the children read the word cards (see below).
    • Have the children underline the letters th at the beginning of each word and emphasize that the words all start with the /th/ sound.
    • Have the children crumple the word cards into balls.
    • Let the children use their thumb thrower to try to throw the words into a bucket or bowl.

Apply the skill

  • Read target words in texts (see below)
    • Have the children underline the words spelled with th in the target text The Thumb Can Throw Things (see below).
    • Read the target text The Thumb Can Throw Things to the children and allow them to thump their thumb each time they see a word spelled with th.
    • Engage the children in reading the text simultaneously with you.
    • Read the text The Thumb Can Throw Things again fading support.
    • After reading the text, have the children look at the three words: thump, thud, and thumb.
    • Analyze the sounds at the end of the words; have the children put their thumb over the b in thumb and explain that the letter b is silent.
  • 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., thumb, throw, thrower, think, thing, thump, thud) then have the children write a sentence about what they did with the thumb thrower (e.g., I can throw things with my thumb thrower).

SEEL Target Texts

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The Thumb Can Throw Things!

You can throw things with your thumb.
Give your thumb a flick and it becomes a thumb thrower.
Flick things with your thumb thrower.
Think of things you can throw with your thumb thrower.
          Things without names . . . . .
               a thing-a-ma-jig
               a thing-a-ma-bob
          This thing or that thing – just pick a thing.
Things can go thud or thump when they are thrown.
Things can go thunk or thwack when they are thrown.
A thumb-thrower can throw lots of things.
What a thrill to throw things with a thumb thrower!



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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.