Sneaky Slimy Snake

Emergent Literacy Design
Leah Brown

Rationale:  This lesson is to help students become aware that letters stand for phonemes, and spellings map the phonemes in written words.  Before children learn to read phonemes they need to be able to recognize them.  This lesson focuses on the /s/ phoneme.  The goal of the lesson is that students will recognize the /s/ in spoken words, be able to identify the /s/ on printed paper and write the letter s correctly on primary paper. 

Materials:  Primary paper, pencils, drawing paper, crayons, picture card with s snake on one side and a question mark on the other side, chart with “Sam saw a sneaky slimy snake in the sandbox”, picture page with snake, car,snail, whale, hat, bike, dog, skate, store, and stamp, book Yuck Soup

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we have many letters in the alphabet that make many different sounds and it is difficult learning what each letter says.  Today we are going to learn about the letter s and its /s/ sound.
2. Ask students:  Have you ever seen a snake? Have you ever noticed the sound they make?  Well they make a /s/ sound when they feel they are in danger or sense that someone is close by them.  Today we are going to learn how to make that /s/ sound, so you can become aware of the /s/ in many words.  Now let’s all say /s/ and sound like a snake.
3. First let’s try a tongue twister (on chart) “Sam saw a sneaky slimy snake in the sandbox.”  Good, now let’s say it together three times.  This time say it and stretch the /s/ sound at the beginning of the words like a snake would.  “SSSSam ssssaw a ssssneaky sssslimy ssssnake in the ssssandbox.” Good job!!
4. (Give the students primary paper and pencil)  Let’s use the letter s to spell the letter /s/. (First, model how to make the letter s on paper)  Let’s write it.  Begin with your pencil just below the roof and make a little c so that it sits on the fence, now without lifting your pencil make a curve around the backside of the fence and rest it on the sidewalk.  Now I am going to come around and see everyone’s s and after you get a smiley face on your paper, I want you to make five more just like that one.  When you see the s by itself you know that it makes the /s/ sound like a snake.
5. Now I am going to call out some words and let’s see if you can hear the s sound in them.  Do you hear /s/ in moon or soon? skate or gatelake or snake? whale or snail?  (Give out the cards with the s/question mark on them)  I am going to read a sentence and if you hear /s/ in the word then I want you to hold up the /s/ snake card or if you don’t hear the /s/ I want you to hold up the side with the question mark on it.  (say words word by word) Sam, saw, a , sneaky, slimy, snake, in, the, sandbox.
6. I will read Yuck Soup and talk about the story.  I will read it once more and have the students hold up the /s/ card each time they hear the /s/ sound in a word.  I will have each student draw a picture of a snake and then write a message about his or her picture using invented spelling.  I will display their work inside the classroom.
7. For assessment, a picture page will be given to each student.  We will name the pictures together, and then they will draw a s on the pictures with the names that have the /s/ sound. 

Reference:  Slithering Snake by Debbie Troha Reading Genie website, Murray, Bruce (ed) 2001 

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