Slithering Silly Snake


Desiree Bennett 

Rationale:  Letter recognition is one of the two best predictors of first year reading achievement. Children need to be able to recognize letters when they see them and connect a meaning to that letter symbol.  The goal of this lesson is to introduce the letter s.  We will learn how to write upper and lower case s and identify /s/ in written and spoken text.


Materials:  primary writing paper for each student, pencil for each student, chart with tongue twister, pointer, primary lines on chalk board. Chalk, s-index cards, picture print outs of words: bus, shoe, car, snake, stove, cat, and apple, giant S, worksheets with pictures of words snake, shoe, shovel, pear, shirt, and table, scissors, glue, dinosaur cut outs for each student, book Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp.



  1. Review the letters a-r.  Introduce the letter s.  Today we will learn the letter s.  The s says /s/.  When you make the /s/ sound you hiss at your tongue and your lips move apart.  First model then ask the class to try.
  2. Ask the students if they hear a /s/ in bus or car?  In sit or lay?  In silly or mean?  In snake or alligator?
  3. Read the tongue twister on the chart paper and point to each word.  Everyone say it together "Sally the silly slithering snake is sad!"  Then say it again as a class dragging out the beginning /s/.  When you hear the /s/ move like a snake.
  4. Have student stake out primary paper and pencil.  Model an s on the primary lines on the board.  For the upper case S make a little c from the roof to the fence then come down and around to the sidewalk.  Now try a whole line of capital S.  Walk around the room and observe the letter writing complementing and helping those who need it.  Once all the children have finished, model a lower case s on the primary lines on the board.  Under the fence make a small c and curve it around to the sidewalk.  Now try it on your paper, do a whole row.  Walk around the room to observe.
  5. Now hold up different full page pictures of things that do and do not have an s in them such as: bus, shoe, car, snake, stove, cat, and apple.  When I hold up a picture that has the /s/ sound in it hold up your s cards.  Pass out a work sheet and a big S.  The worksheet should have pictures of a snake, shoe, shovel, pear, shirt, and table.  The children are to cut out the shapes and glue the pictures that start with s on their big S. 
  6. Now read the book Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp by Carol Shields.  This is a book about dinosaurs getting ready for a party.  Then dancing all night and sleeping on Sunday.  Once we have read the story once we will reread it picking out words that have the /s/ sound.  The children will then be given dinosaur cut outs to write what they would do at a party with dinosaurs.  Have the children use invented spelling in their story.  After they have written a story they may flip it over and color the dinosaur.  Display their work.
  7. Students should be assessed on holding the s cards on the correct words.  For better assessment take up the big S and determine if they glued on the right pictures.



Chall USOE First-Grade Studies Report

Shields, Carol Diggory.  Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp.  Sholastic Inc.:NY, NY.  1997. 

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