Lindsey Odom
  Emergent Literacy

Snakes Are Silly

Rationale ö The single best predictor of studentsâ success in reading is their ability to recognize and name the letters of the alphabet.  (Adams) For this reason, it is imperative that teachers effectively teach the alphabet and the corresponding phonemes.  The goal of this lesson is to introduce the letters of the alphabet.  The letter I have chosen to teach is S.  This lesson will help children to recognize the letter S and its phoneme /s/.  They will receive practice in recognizing the letter S, hearing and saying the phoneme /s/, and in writing the letter S.  It is my hope that after this lesson the students will: be able to recognize the letter S, and be able to have a t least a rudimentary association between the letter symbol S and the phoneme /s/.

Materials ö Alphabatics by Sue MacDonald, A Was Once an Apple Pie by Edward Lear, flashcards with the alphabet (both upper case and lower case) printed neatly, Pencils for each child, Letter strips for each child, a worksheet for assessment and a chalkboard or dry erase board.

1. Begin by reviewing the letters previously taught. I am beginning with the letter S; therefore my students would review letters A-R.
a. We would begin by singing the alphabet song and students would point to each letter on the letter strips attached to their desks as we sing.  Naturally, we would sing slowly enough for the students to point to the letters, and we would finish the song despite the fact that the children havenât been taught all of the letters.
b. Next, we would ãmix it upä by having the students identify the letters from flash cards.  Each flash card features the upper and lowercase letters in large black print.
2. After we have successfully reviewed A-R, introduce the letter S.  Begin by using Alphabatics by Suse MacDonald.  Open the book to the S page.  Tell students that this is letter S and it makes the /s/ sound.  Have the students repeat this statement The Letter S says /s/.  Then look at the picture and point out the snake.  Show the students the picture and the written word.  Tell them that snake begins with an S.  Say Snake pronouncing the word snake, emphasizing the /s/.
3. The next activity involves A Was Once an Apple Pie by Edward Lear.  Present the S page to the children.  Ask them if they recognize the letter S.  Read the poem on the page, once again emphasizing the S sound.  After the poem has been read discuss snakes.  Have they ever seen one?  What color was it and did it scare them?
4. Practice writing Ss.
a. First practice writing the capital S on the lined chalkboard or dry-erase board.  Demonstrate the moves by telling the students: Place your pencil at the roof.  Then go around and curve down to the sidewalk like a snake.  We are now going to draw half a snake.  See how the snake goes around and then curves.  As you say this trace the lines on the snake with your finger.  This is how we make the letter S.  Pick up your pencil and go back to the roof.
Allow the students to practice S on their own.
When they have finished one of the capital Ss, move on to the lower case s.
b. Once again demonstrate on the board as you instruct the students, while saying the lower case s is a lot like the capital S.  Once again, place your pencil at the roof.  Then curve around to the middle halfway and stop, then go the other way and curve around to the sidewalk.  Once again trace the lines of the s, so the children can see how the lines go in and back to the sidewalk.  Have the students practice the lower case s.
5. Read the S rhyme ãSä is for six, sick snakes on the sailboat.  As you read the poem, once again emphasize the /s/ phoneme.  ssssix, ssssick, ssssnakes on the ssssailboat.
6. Activity: Hold up 2 letter flash cards and ask the students which card is the S.  So this four or five times.  As a review, have the children name the other letter.
7. Assessment: Give students the worksheet that details a number of letters. Ask the students to circle all of the Sâs featured on the page.  It may be helpful to find one of the sâs together.  Tell them that there are 10 letter Ss.  This will also give them practice with their counting. Also have them practice writing their Ss once gain and see if they can draw a backwards Ss.
8. Ask students: What sound does the S make? Review the association between S and the Snake.  Repeat the /s/ phoneme with them.
9. As a final review, sing the alphabet song, while pointing at the letters on the alphabet strips.  Remind the students to point to the S this time.

1. Adams, Marie (1990) Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print- A Summary.  Center for the Study of Reading the Reading Research and Education Center; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 12.
2. The Reading Genie. ãEmergent Literacy.ä

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