Virginia Linne                                                                                                                            Emergent Literacy     


                                                                          Sneaky S


          The focus of this lesson is for children to learn to identify the letter s in writing and in spoken words.  Children need to know that the letters in the alphabet represent phonemes, and need to be able to identify every single one.  The two main skills for reading success are letter recognition and phoneme recognition.



  1. Introduce the letter S to the class.  Explain to the children why we need to be able to identify the letter s.  Explain that we need to know it’s symbol and it’s sound.Hand out a giant letter S to each student to place on his/her desk.  Have one in front of the classroom.


  1. Find out what is in the student’s schemata’s about the letter.  Ask them questions about what it looks like and what it sounds like.  Have the entire class say the sound that s makes together.



  1. Have pictures of objects and animals that begin with the letter s, at the front of the class room.  (snake, sunshine, school, spaghetti, string, etc.).  Have the children identify the objects together emphasizing the /s/ sound.  Then add some more pictures to the group containing objects that begin with different letters of the alphabet, and have the student’s identify which one’s begin with the letter s.


  1. Introduce a tounge twister emphasizing the letter s.  (Sister Suzy sits sadly in the sun).  Have the children repeat the tounge twister and see how many times they can say it in a row. 



  1. Model for the children on the board how to write the letter s.  Have the children practice writing the letter s on their own manuscript paper.  “To draw the letter s, we need to start at the top of the line and squiggle on down to the bottom line.  I want each of you to practice doing this letter on you very own paper!”


  1. Have the children make cookies together, and shape their cookies into the letter s.  the children will have fun making and eating the treats while they learn to make the letter s. 



  1. In order to assess the children, have them hold their large letter s up every time you show them a picture of something beginning with the letter s. For individual assessment, I will take time to observe each child individually.


  1. Read the story SAMMY The White House Mouse  by Elizabeth St. John to reinforce the lesson on s.  Have the children raise up their large letter s every time they hear the /s/ sound. 




  1. Adams, Maryilyn.  Beginning to Read:  Thinking and Learning about Print – A Summary.  Champaign:  Center for the Study of Reading Research and Education Cetner, 1990. p 36
  2. Alison Bradley:
  3. Bruce Murray:


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