Frying Bacon with S


Emergent literacy lesson design

Alex Howard



Rationale: The lesson is going to help children be able to identify the letter /s/, the phoneme represented by S. Students will learn /s/ by learning a picture to represent the sound so they will be able to remember.  When they hear the sound S and will be able to see it in written language.  The lesson will help them practice finding /s/ in words while reading or sounding it out.


Materials: Guess How Much I Love You (book); Primary paper and pencil; drawing paper and marker/crayons; flash cards with STOP, SUN, DOOR, SOME, and SEE; assessment worksheet which will be practicing S and decided which pictures start with S and when finished they may color in the pictures that begin with S.  (URL at bottom of page)



1. Say: Our language is very different from other languages.  We have a language that is difficult to read but once you get the hang of it everything becomes very easy.  A hard part for you might be understanding what every letters stand for.  Another thing that could be difficult is learning how our mouth moves and the form it takes when we say certain sounds. Today we are going to concentrate on the mouth movements for /s/. We spell /s/ with letter S. I think that S looks like a raw piece of bacon before it is cooked, all squiggly and curved.  The S sounds like frying bacon on a skillet and it goes /s/.


2. Say: “Lets pretend we are cooking bacon on our skillets, /s/, /s/, /s/. (Make sure you are exaggerating with this so the children see the S mouth movement.) Now pay close attention to where your top teeth are? They are touching your bottom teeth also aren’t they? When we say /s/, we blow air between our top and bottom teeth.”


3. Say: “Now let me show you how to find the /s/ in the word kids. I'm going to say the word kids and then stretch the work kids out in a very slow motion and listen for the bacon to sizzle. kk-i-i-ssss.  Now slower: kkk-i-i-i-zzzzzzz. I FOUND IT; did anyone else hear it in the word kids as well? I felt my teeth touch each other and blow air through my teeth. I can hear the bacon sizzling in the word kids.”


4. Say: “Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Sally saw stolen seashells. ” Now everybody say it four times together. Now lets say it again, but when we say it this time you are going to stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. "Sssssally sssssaw sssstolen ssssseashells." Lets try it one more time and this time break every S sound off every word.  I will demonstrate it first then you repeat, “/s/ally /s/aw /s/tolen /s/eashells.”


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. Now let’s talk about when we use the letter S to spell /s/. A capital S looks like a raw piece of bacon that you need to book. So now that we know that let's write the lowercase letter s.  We want to start at the fence making a little c. Once you have your little c right under the fence we want to do a backwards c and touch the sidewalk but we do not want to go in the ditch.  When everyone is done forming your S, I want to see everyone’s.  After I have checked it and returned it to you with a sticker I would like you to do it again 10 more times to make sure you understand.


6. Say: “Now we are going to play a game, the directions are: everyone in the classroom do number 1 or 2 on your hands, then when I call on a student to answer  you raise your hand and tell me how you know.  Ready go: Do you hear /s/ in some or flower? smoke or hand? Sponge or light? sing or grass? Tennis or football?  Now let's see if you can spot

the mouth movements with /s/ in these words, if you can hear the /s/ then I want you to fry your bacon: fix, something, kids, green, some, pretty, sisters.”


7. Say: “Let's all come together now to read a book.  Guess How Much I Love You-Book talk: In this book there is a big hare and a little hare.  They want to show each other how much they love each other.  It becomes a competition but you will have to read to see what happens.  In this book the hares are trying to guess who loves each other more.  Read page 1 and 14, show how the /s/ sound is on this page. Ask children if they can think of other words with /s/ in them. Ask them to think up a fun word that starts with /s/.  Then you should have all the students write their words they made up down with invented spelling and draw a picture to illustrate their word and how it relates to the book.”


8. Show the flashcard STOP and model how to decide if it is stop or drop. The S shows you that you need to fry your bacon /s/ so the word is sssssssss-top.  Here are some you can try: SUN: fun or sun? DOOR: poor or door? SOME: come or some? SEE: fee or see?


9. For assessment, give out the worksheets. Students are to complete the worksheet by printing out the letter S in the directed areas.  After this they will print S under the pictures where the S belongs.  After they are done they may color the pictures that start with S if there is extra time allotted.  While students are doing this you should call students individually to your desk to read the phonetic cue words from step #8 aloud to you.





Beginning Reading, written by Marilyn Jager Adams (1990) published by The Reading Research and Education Center.

Jenny Duvall  Hip Hop

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