Emergent Literacy

Sammy Snake

Ashley Todt

Rationale- Phonemic awareness and letter recognition are essential for students to begin reading (Adams).Because of this, it is crucial for teachers to effectively teach their students each letter of the alphabet.To learn a letter means to learn the grapheme and phoneme associated with each letter.The goal of this lesson is to introduce a letter of the alphabet.The letter I have chosen to teach is S.I will demonstrate the creation of the upper case S and the lower case s.I will also teach them the sound the letter s makes (when it is combined with no other letter).I hope each child will be able to write the upper and lower case S, recognize the letter S in text, and know the phoneme that is associated with the letter S.It is important for each student to accomplish this goal, because without this knowledge they will be unable to move into the full alphabetic stage of reading.

Materials - 1). Large picture of "Sammy the 'S' Snake," 2). Pencils, 3). Dry erase board with primary writing lines, 4). Dry erase markers, 5). Two worksheets per child 6). Copy of skunk tongue twister, 7). Flash cards with upper and lower case letters on them, 8). Kipper's A-Z: An Alphabet Adventure, by Nick Inkpen.


1. Who remembers what some of the letters we have been learning are?Students should recall letters preceding the letter S.We want to make sure that we learn the letters, so that we can be good readers.Won't it be great when you can read everything by yourself, and you won't need anyone to read it to you?Think of all the fun books that there are, and you will be able to read them whenever you want.Right now I am going to read you a book that is all about the different letters of the alphabet.This book is called Kipper's A-Z: An Alphabet Adventure. I chose this book, because each page demonstrates the written form of both the upper and lower case letters, has many words and pictures that demonstrate the usage of the selected letter, and is in alphabetic order.As I read the book, I will have the class tell me what letter is on each page before I read it.When we get to the letter S, I will spend some time discussing the page.

2. Today I am going to introduce you to Sammy.Now Sammy is very special, because he is going to teach us all about a new letter.Does anyone think they have seen the letter S before?It is a letter that is used a lot.Does anyone remember from the book we just read what sound the letter S makes?It makes a ssss sound, kind of like the sound a snake makes.To make this sound everyone needs to close their teeth and blow air through their teeth while they keep their tongue down.Everyone say it with me.SSSSSS.Good Job.We are gong to practice using this sound before I bring Sammy out to teach us how to make it.First I am going to say the tongue twister."A skunk sat on a stump and thunk the stump stunk."Now I want you to repeat each work after I do.After students have completed this we will say the whole thing together emphasizing the S sound.

3.I will hang a large poster of "Sammy the 'S' Snake" demonstrate the figure of an S.I will also give each child his/her own copy of "Sammy."I will demonstrate for my students, using the primary writing lines on the dry erase board, how I draw the letter S.While I am making the letter S, I will tell the students the position of the different curves using the grass, fence, and sky.The students will have already learned how to create other letters using this method.You begin at the fence and go up to the sky, as you approach the sky, you begin to curve towards the square (they will have already learned from previous lessons that on the left side of the room is a large square sign, and on the right side of the room there is a large circle sign.These signs will guide them towards either the left or right so there is no confusion.)and head back down towards the fence.Once you are back to the fence, you will slide along the fence towards the circle, and then head down to the grass.As you approach the grass you will begin to curve back to the square, and then head back up to the fence where you will stop.The lower case s will be done the same way, but it will all be kept under the fence.

4. I will have the entire class practice writing the letter S on a worksheet that I will give them.This worksheet reminds them where to start when writing the upper and lower case S.This worksheet also asks them to practice saying the sss sound as they write the letter.I will leave up my demonstrations and the poster of Sammy.I will walk around and observe their different attempts.

5. For our next activity, I will show the children two different flash cards at a time.Each flash card will have a letter on it.Some will be upper case letters and others will be lower case letters.I will show them the letter S each time, along with another letter.I will have them select which letter is the S.

6. To conclude this lesson I will pass out a worksheet to assess what they have learned.This worksheet asks them to write S and s next to each word that has the sss sound.They are to practice saying these words as they write their letters.


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-Champagne. 12.

Inkpen, Nick (2000).Kipper's A-Z: An Alphabet Adventure.Red Wagon Books; San Diego, CA.

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