Silly Tie Snakes
Emergent Literacy
Brittany Walburg

Rationale:  Many children become familiar with the /s/ sound, however, some have trouble recognizing it in words.  This lesson is designed so children will be able to identify and recognize the /s/ sound.  Children will be given the opportunity to listen and discriminate various words.  It will help them listen for the s=/s/ sound at the beginning, middle, and end of words (plurals).

Materials:  old tie, scissors, fiber fill (teacher will provide), hanger, craft eyes, and red felt cloth.  The teacher will help students manipulate their hangers into an S shape.  Then, the hangers will be placed inside the sock to form a snake.  Also needed are books with many words containing the /s/ sound and tangible objects that begin with s or have the /s/ phoneme.  Primary writing paper and pencils.

1. Introduce the lesson by saying, "Boys and girls, today we are going to pretend to be snakes.  We are also going to make the sound that snakes make.  Can everyone make the ssssss sound?"  Have them make the sound several times and tell them to feel the way their mouth moves.  Tell them that the ssssss sound snakes make is called hissing.  Place the word HISS on each child's desk.  Laminate it and decorate the two s's to emphasize the hissing sound.  This will help students associate the phoneme with grapheme by a familiar picture.  Have the students take their completed Tie Snake and move about the room making the hissing sound.  As the class moves throughout the room, point out objects and books containing the /s/ phoneme.

2. Ask students to make the /s/ sound and note how their mouth feels.  Have the class do it as a whole and let students describe how it feels to them.  Point to objects in the room and randomly call on students to name the object, emphasizing the /s/ phoneme.

3. Place six large "S's" made out of masking tape on the carpet.  Select six children at a time to perform the tongue twister, "Six silly snakes slithering sideways."  Then the children may hiss around the room to find one object of the teacher's choice that contains the /s/ sound.

4. Have students take out primary writing paper and their pencils.  Model on the board how to write "S" and "s".  If needed the teacher will help students draw their "S's" and also make models for the students to trace.

5. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew:  "Do you hear /s/ in sit or hit, snow or mow, snake or cat, sell or mat?

6. Sing songs such as Sally the Camel, Snowflakes, Gray Squirrel and read books such as Today I Feel Silly and The Snake Book.  Have students raise their hands when they hear a word with /s/.  List their words on the board and have students make up a story using only the words on the board.  Then, they will have a silly story to share.  Teachers may decide to cut construction paper in the shape of a snake and let children use construction paper crayons to write their story.

7. For assessment, the teacher will distribute a picture page and have children identify the pictures that contain /s/ by coloring them.


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