Silly Sally Sings Upside Down!!!


 Emergent Literacy Lesson

Chelsi Simmons


Rationale:  Children seem to be familiar with the s=/s/ letter sound correspondence, but many children have a hard time recognizing this sound on the end of words, especially plurals.  This lesson is intended to make students more familiar with the phoneme /s/; it will help students recognize the s=/s/ sound at the beginning, middle, and the end of words (through a hands on activity as well as a read aloud).  The students will also be able to correctly write the letter s. 


* Silly Sally  by:  Audrey Wood (The big book version would be best)
*Primary paperPencils
*Dry Erase Board
*Red and Black dry erase markers
*Poster Board (for tongue twister)
*Masking TapeBlack Sharpie
*Picture of Silly Sally(walking upside down) for each student
*Work Sheets or Assessment (See 8 for example)



    1.    Begin lesson by saying, “Boys and girls, today we are going to town with Silly Sally in search of words that make s sound.”  Next, ask your students “does anyone know what sound an s makes?”  Have them make the s=/s/ sound several time.  Then tell them “if you can’t remember always remember Silly Sally and the first letters in her name tell you the answer.”  Then ask, “Where is your tongue when you make the /s/ sound?”  “Can you feel the air coming out of your mouth?”  “Silly Sally like to make the /s/ sound, because she like to feel the air coming out of her mouth.”  Then on a dry erase board write SILLY SALLY, and write the S in red and the other letters in black.  By doing this students can associate the grapheme with the phoneme.  Next say, “now I am going to tell you Silly Sally’s favorite word KISS, lets all say KISS do you hear the /s/ sound in the word KISS?”  “Watch me say KISS one more time.  Are we all making the same sound, /s/?”

     2.  Let’s try something a little harder.  Let’s try a Silly tongue twister.(have tongue twister written on poster board) “Silly Sally sings silly songs upside down.”  Let’s all say it three times together.  Now we are going to say it again, but this time we are going to stretch out the /s/ sound every time we hear it.  “Sssilly Sssally sssingsss sssilly sssongsss upssside down.  Let’s say it one more time and this time let’s count on our fingers every time we hear the /s/ sound.  “How many did we count?”  Eight that’s right there are eight /s/ sounds.”

    3.   “Awesome job!!  Now let’s get out our primary paper and a pencil.”  Tell students, “We can use the letter s to spell the /s/ sound.”  Students are going to learn how to write a capital and a lowercase s.  “First, I am going to write a capital S, I will a c up in the sky between the rooftop and the fence, then I will swing back.  “Now it’s your turn.”  Allow students to practice writing the uppercase S several times.   “Ok, boys and girls now we are going to write the lowercase s.  For this little s you will form a tiny c up in the sky, but let the bottom of the c touch the fence then swing back like this.”  Allow students to practice writing the lowercase s several times.  Then model a word with the s in each of the three positions(beginning, middle, and end), and have the students copy the words onto their paper.  You can also go back through the words and ask the students to tell where they hear the /s/ sound in the beginning, middle, or end.  (Example words:  sit, sail, Saturday, mask, vase, miss, bus)

    4.   Have medium sized masking tape “S’s” made for each student on the carpet, with a picture of Silly Sally at the start of each “S”.  Have the “S” outlined in black with a black dotted line down the middle so that the “S” looks like a road.  Allow the students to sit beside their “S” and take Silly Sally down the s-shaped road.  This allows the students to feel with their hands the shape of the grapheme S.

    5.    Now have your students look through a magazine (make sure magazines have an abundance of objects that contain the /s/ phoneme) and find a picture that has the /s/ phoneme at the beginning, middle, or the end.  Model for the students first you cut out a spoon—“I cut out a spoon.  The /s/ sound is in the beginning of this word.  Now, I want you to share what you have cut out and the class where the /s/ sound is in your word.  Have students share what they chose to cut out.  For example if a student cut out a snake, it has the /s/ in the beginning.  If someone chose scissors, it has the /s/ in the beginning, middle, and end.

    6.   Now it is time to use a book to emphasize the /s/ sound in text.  Introduce the book Silly Sally, which contains many words using the phoneme /s/.  Introduce the book by saying, “ We have been talking all day about Silly Sally, and now we are going to read all about her being really silly so I want you to turn on your listening ears and listen for words that make the /s/ sound.  Every time you hear a word with the /s/ sound I want you to make a Silly Face like Silly Sally.”  Okay, listen closely!!!!!

    7.    Now we are going to do an activity and everyone gets to answer a question.  “Okay boys and girls, now I am going to say two words and when I call on you be ready to tell me which word has the /s/ sound.  I’ll do the first one.  Do I hear /s/ in grass or green?  Grass.  Okay, now it’s your turn to try some.  Go around the room and allow each child to choose the word with the /s/ sound. (Examples: summer or winter, past or future, list or row)

    8.  For assessment give your students some type of cut and paste worksheet with words that you hear s=/s/ in.  Have one sheet of pictures and one sheet with 3 columns.  One column begging, one middle, and one ending.  Next, tell your students what each picture is and have them say back to you what they are.  The students will them cut out each picture and glue it in the appropriate column (this depends on the location of the s=/s/ sound in the word). 




“Miss”chievous Snakes  by:  Aimee Maner

Wood, Audrey.  Silly Sally.  New York, NY.  Scholastic Inc.  1992.  32 pages

Zaner-Bloser directions “How to print Letters”

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