Tall Tower of Tops

Tall Tower of Tops
Target text


Associate the uppercase letter T and lowercase letter t with the /t/ sound as in tip, tap, and top.

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Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • tip
  • tap
  • top
  • tower
  • topple
  • tell
  • ten


  • Bottle and jar tops of variety of sizes
  • Toy tops (optional)
  • Make a Tower of Tops target text
  • Tip Over a Tower of Tops target text
  • Letter T graphic
  • Word blending cards

The children will build a tower of tops as they listen for and play with words starting with the /t/ sound as in tap, top, tip, and two.

Literacy Activities
Tell others to touch, tap, or take a top

  • Spread the bottle tops and toy tops (optional) on the ground.
  • Call on a child by name and tell him or her, " Take a turn tapping tops."
  • After the child completes his or her turn, have the child call on another child and say, “Take a turn tapping tops.”
  • Have the children continue interacting each other to perform actions with the tops using words that start with the /t/ sound (e.g., touch, tap, tip, take).

Put a toy top on top of a bottle top

  • Place a bottle top on the ground.
  • Put a toy top or a bottle top used as a toy top on top of the bottle top.
  • Spin the toy top or bottle top (tipped on its side and spun) on a bottle top.

Make a tall tower of tops

  • Give the children different sizes of bottle tops.
  • Have the children stack one top on top of another to make a tall tower of tops.
  • Take a toy top or a T letter card and put it on top of the tower.
  • Throughout the activity, make comments such as, “How tall can you build the tower of tops?” and “Be careful not to tip over your tall tower of tops.”
  • Have the children topple over the tall tower of tops by telling them to take a top from the tower (explain that the word topple means to make something fall over).
  • Tell the children that they can tip over the tower in other ways, such as by tapping the tops and touching the tops.
    • Ask, “Will the tower topple if you tap it or touch it?”

More Practice
Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word blending cards, form some of the /t/ sound target words.
  • Have the children make new words by changing the vowel or either of consonants:
    • tap → lap; tip → dip; top → mop
    • tap → tip → top
    • tap → tan → tab; tip → tin; top → tot

Read target words/patterns to the children

  • Read the Make a Tower of Tops target text to the children.
  • Have the children underline the words that begin with T.
  • Have the children say the /t/ sound every time they see a word that starts with T.
  • Repeat with the Tip Over a Tower of Tops target text.

Practice alliteration

  • Remind the children of the words they played with (e.g., top, tip, tower, topple).
  • Ask each child to think of a new word that starts with T (e.g., tell, toss, take; support as needed).

Write about the activity using target words

  • Give each child a paper and pencil or whiteboard and have them practice writing the letter T.
  • Have the children write words as you say them and change one or two letters each time to make a new word: tip, tap, top, mop, map, mat, sat, cat, cut.
  • Help the children write about the activity by generating sentence frames and letting the children fill in the blanks with target words and phrases:
    • Tell a friend to ___ (tap) two ___(tops).
    • We will build a tower of ___ (tops).
    • We can ___ (tap) and ___ (tip) the tower.
    • Make the tall tower ___ (tip).
    • Put the toy___(top) on ___ (top).
    • Be careful when you touch the ___(top).
    • Do not let the tower ___ (topple).

SEEL Target Texts

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Tip Over a Tower of Tops

How can you tip over a tower of tops?
Put a toy top on top of the tower of tops.
Tap on the tops.
Touch the tops.
Take a top from the tower.
The tower of tops will tip over!



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1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper- and lowercase letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.