Silly Silly Snake


Emergent Literacy

By: Collier Daniel


            In order for students to be successful in reading and in writing, they must learn the foundations of words. Students must understand the symbol for each letter as well as understand the sounds (phonemes) that each letter contains. Students must also practice spelling words in order to be successful students. This lesson will focus on the letter S as well as the sound the letter makes, /s/. Through practice and pronunciation, students will be able to identify the letter symbol as well as recognize /s/ in spoken and written words.





1. I will explain that our language is made up of lots of sounds and go with symbols. These sounds and symbols make up the alphabet.  We move our mouths certain ways and a found is formed. Today we are going to talk about /s/. We may not have noticed the /s/ in our everyday lives but after today, we will see /s/ everywhere.

2. I will ask the student, “Have you ever heard a snake say /s/. Today we are going to pretend to be snakes. First, to make /s/, we will barely open our lips and teeth. Then we will place our tongue barely touching the front of mouths and the back of our teeth. Remember out tongue lightly touches the front of our mouth. Let me hear you try to make /s/. Next, we are going to move our hands and wiggle like snakes. Ok now let’s put the sound and motion together.”

3. Now, we are going to learn our tongue twister on chart paper. This will allow the student to practice moving his or her mouth to form /s/. First, say the tongue twister and then have the student repeat what you say. Do this several times. “Silly Sam Snake slithered towards Susie Seal and Sally Snail. Now, we are going to say the sentence together but when you hear /s/, I want you to wiggle your arms like a snake and really stretch out the /s/ sound. Sssssilly Sssssam Sssssnake ssssslither toward Ssssusie Ssssseal and Ssssally Ssssnail.” Repeat several times.

4. With primary paper and pencil, have student practice writing the letter s that corresponds to /s/. “Let’s write the letter s. Remember we have to pay attention to our roof, fence, sidewalk and ditch. Under the fence, we are going to write a small c, and then we are going to curve the down to the sidewalk. I will show you then I want you to try.” Have student write a row of s.

5. “ Now I’m going to show you how to find /s/ in words. I going to drag out a word and try to find the snake hissing. Listen to me, sun. Ssss-u-n. Ssss-u-n. Can you hear it? I hear it.

6. “Now, I going to say some words and I want you to find the /s/. When you hear /s/ make your snake move and make a hissing sound. Snake or bear? Snail or frog? Sometimes /s/ can be in the middle or words. Do you hear /s/ in mouse or cat? Yes or no?” Give pictures of specific words to student so they may think about. As their answering, ask them if they can see your mouth moving to make /s/.

7. Give a book talk for Silly Sally. “Silly Sally is a silly girl who is making her way too town. Along the way, she runs into some silly animals. What do you think Silly Sally is going to town for? Let’s read to find out what happens to Silly Sally.” Read Silly Sally. After you are finished reading, talk about the book with the students. R
ead it again, and have students raise their hands when they hear words with /s/. List their words on the board. Then have each student draw a picture of what they want to be when they grow up and write a message about it using invented spelling. Display their work.

8. In order to assess students, pass out a worksheet with pictures from the picture exercise and have students circle the words or pictures that start with /s/.


Hall, Mallory. Silly Sally.              

        Smith, Abby . Sally Snake.

Wood, Audrey. Silly Sally. Red Wagon Book. 1999. 30 pgs.

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