Aimee Maner
Emergent Literacy

"MiSS"chievous Snakes

Rationale:  Children seem to be familiar with the s=/s/ concept; however, many children have trouble recognizing it on the end of words, especially plurals.  This lesson is intended to familiarize students with the phoneme /s/; it will require them to listen for /s/ =s, at the beginning, middle, and especially the end of words.

Materials:  Masking tape, EXTRA LARGE note cards or poster board, primary paper and pencils, six rubber snakes, some type of worksheet with pictures of words that have "s" in the beginning, middle, and end (if the worksheet is cut and paste as I have included below, then glue and scissors will be needed as well), a text containing many words with the phoneme /s/ (an example is Summer Fun by Lucy Lawrence), and finally a basket or box containing objects with phoneme /s/ at the beginning, middle, and end.

1. Begin the lesson by saying, "Boys and girls, today we are going to pretend to be sly slithering snakes in search of words with letters that make the same sounds that a snake makes."  Next ask your students "what sound does a snake make?"  Have them make the sound several times.  Ask them, "where is your tongue when you make the /s/ sound?"  "Is air coming out of your mouth or nose?"  Then explain that snakes do what is called hissing.  Now model the phoneme /s/ for them as the hissing sound that they will be making today as snakes.  On a poster have the word HISS written with the last two graphemes of s decorated like snakes so that your students can associate the phoneme with its grapheme by a familiar picture.  Next say, "boys and girls, letâs say hiss."  "Do you hear the snake sound in the word hiss?"  "Watch me hiss one more time."  "Are we all making the same sound, /s/?"
2. Are you ready for a challenge?  Letâs try a tongue twister.  "Six silly snakes slithered sideways."  Everybody say it three times together.  Now we are going to say it again, but this time stretch out the /s/ at the beginning of the words.  "Sssix sssilly sssnakes ssslithered sssideways."  Letâs try it one more time, and this time break the /s/ off the word: "/s/ix /s/illy /s/nakes /s/lithered /s/ideways."  Great Job!
3. Have six large "S's" made out of masking tape on the carpet with a rubber snake at the start of each "S".  Have the "S's" outlined in black with a black dotted line down the middle so that it looks like an s-shaped road.  Select six children at a time to go to a large S and take the rubber snake down the s-shaped road.  So you will have six silly snakes slithering sideways down the masking taped S, to feel with their hands the shape of the grapheme S.
4. Now have your children pick one item from your basket of objects that contain the phoneme /s/.  Have your children share what they chose and discuss where the phoneme /s/ is in the word.  For example, if someone chose scissors, it has /s/ in the beginning, middle, and end.  If someone else picked a bus, explain how you hear /s/ at the end.
5. Now it is time to use an easy book to emphasize the snake sound /s/ in texts.  Introduce a book such as Summer Fun by Lucy Lawrence, which contains many words that contain the phoneme /s/.  You can introduce the book by saying, "Boys and girls, I am going to read you a short story about summer fun and I want you to keep your ears open for words that make the same sounds as snakes.  Every time you hear a word with the snake sound I want you to hiss like a snake, making the /s/ sound!  Okay, listen closely!!!"
6. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil).  "We can use the letter s to spell /s/.  Let's write it.  I will draw it first, so watch as I draw it (first capital, and then lowercase).  Now it's your turn."  Then model a word with an s in each of the three places, beginning, middle, and end, and have your students copy the words onto their paper.
7. Now let's do an oral activity.  "Okay everybody, now I am going to say two words and when I call on you be ready to tell me which word has the /s/ sound.  I'll do the first one.  Do I hear /s/ in stop or go?  Stop.  Okay, now it's your turn to try some."  (Other examples:  sell or buy, grass or leaf, snow or rain, summer or fall, etc.).
8. For assessment give your students some type of cut and paste worksheet with words that you hear s=/s/ in.  Have one sheet where they cut out the pictures and one with 3 columns.  One column beginning, one middle, and one ending.  Next tell your students what each picture is and have them say back to you what they are.  Now have them cut out the pictures and place them into the correct column according to where they hear s=/s/ in the word.

Reference:  "HiSSing Snakes" by Shea Fant

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