Simple Simon Saves the Day

Sarah Lauren Harper

Emergent Literacy


Rationale:     To learn and spell words, children need to be able to recognize phonemes and see that letters in the alphabet symbolize these sounds. Before children begin to read phoneme they need to be able to recognize them. This lesson will focus on identifying that s=/s/. The goal of this lesson is for the students to recognize, identify, and locate that /s/ in spoken or written words.  By the end of the lesson the student will also be able to correctly write and say the letter s.

Materials:      Letters of Alphabet displayed on/over the board, Primary paper and pencils, paper strips for tongue twister, picture page with Simple Simon, snake, dog, car, stop sign, hat, stamp, girl, boy, snail, pie, tree, sail boat, some stickers, and the Childcraft Nursery Rhyme ‘Simple Simon’.




1.         Introduce the lesson by explaining that there are many different letters in the alphabet and most of them have very different sounds. Have the alphabet displayed in the classroom. Tell the students that the class will be working on the letter s and the sound that it makes. We will be reading writing, and identifying the letter s throughout this lesson


2. Ask the students: Have you ever heard the noise that a snake makes? What sound does it make? That will be the sound we arc looking for with the letter s. Today we will learn of the /s/ sound  in many words. Now on three let’s make the sound /s/! The students will shake an imaginary salt shaker or move their arms like a rattlesnake’s tail while they say /s/.


3. Let’s start off with a tongue twister, “Simple Simon said Sally stretched strings so Simon would sing on Saturday.” Now let’s say it again, this time stretching out the Is! sound at the beginning of each word, just like a snake would. SSSSimple SSSSimon ssssaid SSSSally sssstretched sssstrings sssso SSSSimon would ssssing on SSSSaturday. Let’s try this one more time, but this time we are going to break off the /s/ sound. /S/ Simple /S/ Simon /s/ aid /S/ ally /s/ tretched /s/ trings so /S/ imon would /S/ing on /S/ aturday.


4. Give the students primary paper and pencils. Let’s say /s/ and draw the letters. (model how to write the s) Let’s write an /s/. For s, first turn a “c” cup in the air between the rooftop and the fence, then swing back.   I will then walk around and check every one’s S, When I put a sticker on their paper they may start working on a

whole role of s’s just like the first one. When you see the letters by itself in a word, that signals you to say /s/.  Next l am going to call on you to give me answers to my questions and then tell me how you knew the answer. Do you hear /s/ in: stray or play? Swim or wax? Lake or snake? Moon or swoon? Set or net?


5. I will next give each student stickers to stick on the end of their pointer finger (to make snake heads). I am going to call out words, when you hear the /s/ sound raise you snake head and make the /s/ sonnd. (Give words one by one) Sam, stopped, speaking, when, Sandy, started, singing.


6.   I will read aloud Simple Simon and talk about the story. I will reread the story and ask the students to make their finger snakes and make the /s/ sound when they hear it. Look at this picture of Simple Simon (an outline of a boy’s body).  He likes animals and tries to catch them. Think of the animals he likes to catch and fill in the outline with names of animals that Simon tried to catch. Try your best! The students will use invented spelling for the animal names.


7.   For assessment, I will give each student a picture page. We will name the pictures together, and then I will ask the students to write all s underneath the pictures that have the /s/ sound. 





Eldredge, I Lloyd. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classroom. Prentice Hall Publishing Company. Upper Saddle River, Nj: 4995


Childcraft, Vol 1. Poems of Early Childhood, Field Enterprises, Inc. 1954, pg. 57



Simple Simon


Simple Simon met a pieman,

Going to the fair;

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

‘Let me taste your ware.”


Says the pieman unto Simon,

“Show me first your penny.”

Says Simple Simon to the pieman,

Indeed, I have not any.”




Simple Simon went a-fishing

For to catch a whale,

All the water he could find

Was in his mother’s pail.


Simon went to catch a bird,

And thought he could not fail,

Because he had a pinch of salt

To put upon his tail.



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