Silly Sally Snake

 Emergent Literacy

 Lindsay Boshell


Rationale: For children to learn how to read and spell they must understand that letters stand for phonemes.  Children must know that letters spell or map out the phonemes in spoken words.  They must first be able to recognize and identify phonemes.  They will learn to recognize the /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and by practicing identifying /s/ in spoken words.

Materials: Primary paper and pencil, chart with “Silly Sally snake slithered down a slimy slope on a sunny day”, a set of cards that has s on one side and the other side blank, drawing paper and crayons, picture page with objects that start with s and also objects that do not start with s.  Swine Lake by James Marshall publsihes by Harper Collins, 1999.

1.     Introduce the lesson by telling the students that we are learning the mouth move that stands for the letter s.  Today we are going to work in the mouth move /s/.

 2.     Does anyone know what a snake says?  Yes, that’s right.  A snake says /s/.  That is the mouth move that we are going to work on.  Let’s all sound like snakes and say /s/.  Good job!

 3.     Let’s do a tongue twister (teacher reads chart). “Silly Sally snake slithered slowly down a slimy slope on a sunny day” Now everybody lets say it together.  Good job!  Let’s say it again but say it slower and stretch out the /s/ sound.  Sssilly Sssally sssnake ssslithered ssslowly down a ssslimy ssslope on a sssunny day.  Okay, let’s do it again, but this time let’s say the /s/ by itself then say the rest of the word /s/ illy /s/ ally /s/ nake /s/ lithered /s/ lowly down a /s/ limy /s/ lope on a /s/ unny day.

 4.(Get students to get out their primary writing paper and pencil)  We use the letter s to spell /s/.  Let’s practice writing and s.  (Teacher models while explaining)  Start like you are writing a little c.  Curve up to the fence and back toward the sidewalk.  Half between the fence and sidewalk curve in the opposite direction touch the sidewalk and take a step towards the fence.  I will look at everybody’s s’s.  Then I want everyone to make a row of s’s on their writing paper.  We have learned that when you see a letter s it often makes the /s/ sound.

5.     Now I am going to say some words and I will call on students.  Do you here /s/ in sit or fib? Sank or rock? Sob or bob? Sail or mail?  Great job!  Now we are going to sing a song that will give us more practice with the /s/ sound.  This is how the song goes. 

Who has a word that starts with /s/?
Starts, starts, starts, with /s/?
Who has a word that starts with /s/?
Skip to my lou, my darling? 
Now we will sing the sing a few times and I will call on volunteers.

 6.  Read the story. Read it again and have the students raise their hands when they hear a word with /s/. I will list their words on the board and then they can use their words to make a tongue twister. Children can get into groups of four and they can make a tongue twister and write their tongue twister in a drawing of a snake. The children will use their drawing paper and crayons for this.  Display their work. 

 7.     For assessment, I will give the children a page with pictures and they can circle the one’s that have /s/ in the names.


Eldredge, J. L. Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc.  1995. 58

Amy Graffam.

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