sputter and rattle

Sputter and Rattle

Sputter and Rattle
Target text


Read and write words that have the tt letter combination in the middle.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • putter
  • rattle
  • better
  • little
  • jitter
  • hotter
  • clutter


  • Broken-down car graphic
  • Putter graphic
  • Car graphic
  • Storyboard graphic
  • A Sputtering, Puttering Old Car target text 
  • My Cluttered Bedroom target text

State and Model the Objective
The children will pretend to fix a sputtering car and then read and write words spelled with the tt letter combination, such as clatter, clutter, little, chatter, and better.
Literacy Activities
Sputtering, rattling car

  • Show the children the broken-down car graphic, and explain that the car is sputtering and rattling because of the damaged parts.
  • Write the words sputter and rattle on the board, and point out that both words have the tt letter combination in the middle.
  • One by one, allow the children to “change out” the parts listed below by placing a new part on top of the old parts.
    • tires
    • windows
    • door
    • hood
  • Tell the children that, as they replace the parts, the sputtering and rattling will get better.

Find a putter among the clutter

  • Hide the putter graphic among some clutter.
  • Explain to the children that you are looking for your putter (a special golf club) and you need their help to clean up the clutter in order to find it. 
  • Have the children clear the clutter by placing things back in their spots.
  • Repeat activity if desired. 

 More Practice 
Read and identify target words

  • Display the A Sputtering, Puttering Old Car target text for all the children to see.
  • Read the target text to the children
  • Engage the children in reading the target text with you.
  • Invite the children to make a list of the tt words in the target text.

Identify the target word 

  • Put the children into groups of two, and then give each pair a storyboard and a car graphic.
  • Demonstrate that the storyboard matches the events from the A Sputtering, Puttering Old Car target text.
  • Have one child hold the storyboard while the other child moves the car graphic along the storyboard as the target text is read to the class again.
  • Let the children switch roles and repeat the activity.
  • Invite the children to take turns underlining the tt combination in the words on the storyboard.

Write about the activity

  • Read the My Cluttered Bedroom target text to the children and have them make a list of the tt words in the text.
  • Have the children use their lists to write about the old car or the cluttered place with as many tt words as possible (e.g., My room has clutter and critters). 
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SEEL Target Texts

A Sputtering, Puttering Old Car

My old car is sputtering and puttering along.
It rattles.
It splatters water as it goes.
But the car isn’t a quitter.
It clatters, flutters, jitters, and skitters along.
We drive through a puddle.
And it goes spattering, clattering, rattling, and sputtering along.
This old car is getting more jittery every day.
The engine gets hotter and hotter.
The tires get flatter and flatter.
I think it may finally be quitting.
I can do a little better.
I can find a car that doesn’t rattle, splatter, flutter, clatter,
or sputter along.

My Cluttered Bedroom

My room is full of clutter.
I have clothes and toys scattered all over! 
I hear a rattle by my leftovers!
That’s it! It’s time to clean up this clutter!
I get the jitters as I think of the critters I might find by the peanut butter.
Under my clothes I find my forgotten toys.
There’s the Butter Battle Book—but what was that noise?
The noise over there, in the litter.
As I get close to the rotten leftovers, I see them! 
The critters! 
I yell for my mom! The critters scattered.
I’ve learned my lesson. 
I will never let my bedroom get that cluttered again!
No way!
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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.