Sneaky Snake
Emergent Literacy

Lizzie Fain



        Rationale:  Studies have found that prereaders' letter knowledge was the single best predictor of first-year reading achievement, with their ability  to discriminate phonemes auditory ranking a close second (Adams 36). For this reason, it is imperative that teachers effectively teach the alphabet  and the corresponding phonemes.  The goal of this lesson is to introduce the letters of the alphabet.  The letter I have chosen to  teach is S.  This  lesson will help children to recognize the letter S and its phoneme /s/.  They will receive practice in recognizing the letter S,  hearing and saying the  phoneme /s/, and in writing the letter S.  With this lesson, students should be able to recognize the letter S, and be able to have at least a  rudimentary association between the letter symbol S and the phoneme /s/.



                -primary paper and pencils

                 -Chart with “The sneaky snake slimed down the stairs softly and slowly.”

                 -a picture of the “sneaky snake”

     -Note cards with different pictures- some that include the letter /s/ and  some that do not- snake, shirt, sun, boat, dog, school, house, slug)

                 -The book “Swine Lake" by James Marshall (published by  Harper Collins 1999)

                 -Worksheet with different pictures on it- (some that have the letter /s/ and some that do not-Snake, cat, snow, snail, fox, fruit, child, sun,  sand, bike)



1-     I will introduce the lesson by telling students that our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what the letters stand for- our mouth moves the way we say our words.  Then I will tell them that we are going to work on the letter “S.”  The sound of the letter “s” can be in the beginning, middle and end of the sentence.

2-    Do you know what kind of sound a snake makes? It makes a hiss noise. I will make the /s/ sound.  The “ss” that you hear is the ss sound. Let’s all make the “ss” sound together and move your arms like a snake.

3-      Let’s try a tongue twister now(on chart). I will say the tongue twister, “The sneaky snake slimed down the stairs softly and slowly.”  Lets all say it three times together.  Now lets say is and, and this time, lets stretch the /s/ sound like we did when he made the hiss sound. “The ssssneaky ssssnake sssslimed down the ssstairssss sssssoftly and sssslowly.”  Make  your  arms  move like snakes everytime  you hear the  /s/ sound also.

Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “The /s/ neaky /s/nake /s/limed down the /s/tai/s/ /s/oftly and /s/lowly. 

4-      Have students take out primary paper and pencil].  We can use letter s to spell /s/.  Lets write it.  I will first show them by showing them to begin with your pencil just below the roof and make a little c so that it sits on the fence. Now, without lifting your pencil make a curve around the backside of the fence and rest it on the sidewalk. Make 5 more. When you see the /s/ sound by itself you know it makes the /s/ sound like a hissing snake.

5-    Now, I am going to hold up a picture card.  I will tell them that, "Some of them have the /s/ in them and some do not."  When I show the picture to you, I want you to slither your arm like a snake if the picture has the /s/ in it. If it doesn’t, shake your head no. For example, here is a picture of socks. I am going to slither my arm like a snake and shake my head yes, because this word does have the /s/ sound in it. Okay. Let’s begin. (I  will show them all the picture cards- snake, shirt, sun, boat, dog, school, house, slug)

6-      Now it is time to use an easy book to emphasize the snake sound /s/ in texts. Introduce the book, Swine Lake by James Marshall. You can introduce the book by saying,  "Have any of you ever been to the lake.  What do you normally see when you are at the lake? I want you to listen to the story to see what we see at Swine Lake, and I want you to keep your ears open for words that make the same sounds as snakes.  Every time you hear a word with the snake sound I want you to hiss like a snake, making the /s/ sound! 

7-      For assessment, I will give the students a worksheet with pictures that have the letter s in them and some that do not.  They will draw the letter “s” on the pictures that have the sound /s/ in them. 



“Slithering Silly Snake” by Shelly Horton

Adams, Marilyn Jager. Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print. Illinois (1990)

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