"Ssslithering Ssssnake"

Emergent Literacy

Melissa Roddam 


          Children need to be exposed to different phonemes in order to read and spell, and they must recognize them in the spoken context before they can recognize them in the written context.  In this lesson students will learn to recognize and identify the /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation.





1.)    To introduce this lesson, I will write Slithery Snake on the dry erase board in front of the class.  Next, I will have the class "repeat after me, slithery snake." "Boys and girls, what do you think of when you say slithery snake?"  "A snake·good!" "And a snake makes a /s/sound right?" "Say/s/ can you feel your tongue pressing your two front teeth?"  "Well, today we are going to be learning about the /s/ sound."


2.)   "Do you hear /s/ in 'sail' or 'black?'"  "What about 'shiny' or 'dark.'"  Continue giving examples and have students tell you which word they hear /s/ in.


3.)   Practice the /s/ sound by saying a tongue twister.  "Repeat after me "Sam the slithering snake sat still" "Good, now letâs say it again stretching out the /s/ sound at the beginning of each word that has /s/."  "Sssssam the sssslithering ssssnake ssssat ssstill."


4.)   Next, have students take out primary paper and a pencil.  "We can use the letter s to spell /s/."  I will illustrate while saying: "The skier rides up the hill, skis down the hill and then goes up to the lodge."  Have students each write the letter s.  Then, "After I have stamped your paper, continue making 9 more sâs."  "When you see the letter 's' all by itself in a word, thatâs the signal to say /s/."


5.)   Have students create a "Slithery Snake S Letter."  According to Adams, "Whenever letter- sound instruction is begun, research endorses the use of letter/ key word/ picture displays (pg.67)."  To students: "After you complete your 9 sâs and I have approved them, you may make your "Slithery Snake S Letter."  "He will assist us in our lesson a little later." "Come pick up a sheet with an 's' written like a snake on it."  "Cut this letter out and decorate it however you would like using your markers or crayons."


6.)   Have students join you in a circle on the floor.  Read Officer Buckle and Gloria and talk about the story.  Read it again, and have students raise their ãSlithery Snake S Letterä in the air and say /s/ when they hear words with s.   


7.)   For assessment, pass out a worksheet with pictures of items and help students name the picture.  Have students circle the pictures whose names have /s/. 




          Rathmann, Peggy. Officer Buckle and Gloria.  Scholastic Inc. 1995

          Adams, Marilyn Jager.  Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print.


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