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.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

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


  • Bottle and jar tops of various sizes
  • Letter cards*
  • Word-building cards*
  • Make a Tower of Tops target text*
  • Tip Over a Tower of Tops target text*

*Items included below. 

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will build a tower of tops as they listen for and play with words that start with the /t/ sound, such as tap, top, tip, and two.

Literacy Activities
Touch, tap, or take a top

  • Spread out the bottle or jar tops.
  • Call on a child and say, “Take a turn tapping tops.”
  • Have the children perform actions with the tops (e.g., touch two tops, tap two tops, take two tops, toss two tops, take ten tops).

Make a tall tower of tops

  • Give the children different sizes of bottle or jar tops.
  • Have the children stack the tops to make a tall tower of tops.
  • Make comments such as, “How tall can you build the tower of tops?” and “Don’t tip your tall tower of tops over.”
  • Take a T letter card (see below) and put it on top of the tower.
  • Ask, “Will the tower topple if you tap or touch it?”
  • Let the children try to tip and topple the tower by tapping or touching the tops.

Identify, blend, and manipulate sounds

  • With word-building cards (see below), have the children form some of the /t/ target words (e.g., top, tap, tip, ten, tell).
  • Have the children make new words by changing a consonant or the vowel.
    • Change the beginning consonant: tap→ lap, tip→ dip, top→ mop
    • Change the vowel: tap→ tip, ton→ tan
    • Change the ending consonant: tap→ tan, tad→ tab, tip→ tin, top→ tot

Read Make a Tower of Tops

  • Read the Make a Tower of Tops target text (see below) with the children; support as needed.
  • Have the children find the words that begin with the letter T.
  • Have the children say the /t/ sound when they see the initial T in a word.
  • Repeat with Tip Over a Tower of Tops (see below).

Identify the /t/ sounds in words

  • Make a list of familiar words that begin with the letter T (e.g., top, tip, tower, topple, ten, tell, tap, tip) and point out that each word starts with the /t/ sound.
  • Comment that you hear the /t/ sound in words such as top, tip, tap, tower, and topple.
  • Ask the children if a word starts with /t/ (e.g., Does toe start with /t/?); support as needed.
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SEEL Target Texts

Make a Tower of Tops

Make a tower of tops.
Put one top on top of another top.
Put a top on that top.
Top the tower with another top.
Make a tall tower.
Top the tower of tops with a tiny top.

Tip Over a Tower of Tops

Can you tip over a tower of tops?
Make a tall tower of tops—a tower of ten tops.
Touch and tap the tower of tops.
Take a top from the tower.
Take two twos from the tower.
The tower of tops will tip and topple over!

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SEEL lessons align with Common Core Standards. Please see the standards page for the code(s) associated with this lesson.