Hiss Like a Snake With S

Emergent Literacy

Amber Allman


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /s/, the phoneme represented by S.  Students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (sound a snake hissing makes) and the letter symbol S, practice finding /s/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /s/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Sid the Snake Sings Six Songs in the Sun"; Six sleepy sheep (Puffin Books, 1991); word cards with SAP, SIT, LOW, TED, SACK, SELL; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/.



1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for—the mouth moves we make as we say words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /s/. We spell /s/ with letter S. S looks like a snake, and /s/ sounds like the noise a snake makes when he hisses.


2. Let's pretend to be snakes hissing, /s/, /s/, /s/. [Pantomime snake hissing] Notice where your teeth are? (Stacked on top of each other). When we say /s/, we blow air between out our top and bottom teeth.


3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word list. I'm going to stretch list out in super slow motion and listen for my hissing. Lll-i-i-ist. Slower: Lll-i-i-i-sss-t There it was! I felt my teeth top teeth and bottom teeth touch together and blow air. I can feel the hissing /s/ in list.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Sid the Snake Sings Six Songs in the Sun." Lets say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. "Sssssid the Ssssssnake Sssssings Sssssix Ssssssongs in the Sssssun." Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/S/id the /S/nake /S/ings /S/ix /S/ongs in the /S/un.”


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter S to spell /s/. Capital and lower case S look like a snake. Let's write the lowercase letter s. Form a tiny c up in the air then swing back. I want to see your s when you are done. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /s/ in work or sun? sew  or toe? on or slow?Stopt or drop? Sore or more? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Slither like a snake if you hear /s/: The, seven, past, bug, said, was, to, the, pink, sour.


7. Now boys and girls we are going to read the book Silly Sally. Everytime you hear /s/ I want you to give me a thumbs up. Book talk:  Silly Sally is a wild girl.  She walks upside into town.  Her animal friend join her on her walk into town forming a parade, but what will the towns people think about Silly Sally and her animal friends?  Let’s read and find out how the towns people reacted.


8. Show SIT and model how to decide if it is sit or mit: The S tells me to hiss like a snake, /s/, so this word is sss-it, sit. You try some: SAP: sap or nap? SACK: back or sack? SELL: sell or bell? LOW: low or so? SIT: sit or fit?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with S. Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.




Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/

Rachel Bowman’s Slither Like a Snake with S: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/journeys/bowmanel.htm

Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/prek_wrksht/learning-letters/s.htm

S- Snake picture: http://www.coloring-pages.ws/displayimage.php?album=66&pos=36

Printable book: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/minibooks/s-mini-book.pdf



Return to Awakenings Index