Sally’s Silly Somersaults

Emergent Literacy

Nicole Stewart


Rationale:  Phoneme awareness is such an important concept for young children to grasp before learning to read.  When students are able to identify phonemes, words can be pronounced or attempted to be pronounced easier.  This lesson will focus on the phoneme /s/.  The students should be able to learn and recognize /s/ in spoken words and be able to write the letter properly.  The students will also be able to determine different words that begin with /s/ and have /s/ incorporated in the words.  By having the students focus on certain letters, phoneme awareness will build and the student will be able to recognize sounds of that particular letter. 



            - Primary paper and a pencil

            - Picture of snake

            - Paper with tongue twister written on it: Susie swam south with snakes.

            - Worksheet with clip art pictures (/s/ words): snake, snip, swim, soup

            - Silly Sally by: Audrey Wood (Big Book)

            - Cards with a snake that spells the letter /s/

            - Journals or Drawing paper and crayons



1)  I will introduce the lesson by explaining to the students that we will be learning of a new letter and the letter’s sound.  “Today class we will be discussing a very sssssneaky letter.  I want you to guess what letter we will be learning about by listening to the words that I ssssssay.  When you think you know my letter, I want you to raise your hand quietly; do not shout it out, because that will give it away.”  I will say the tongue twister and see if the students catch on to what letter I am dragging out.  “Ssssssusie sssssssswam ssssssouth with sssssssnakes!  Great, the letter /s/ says sssssss  Hopefully the students will catch on; after I see most of the students hands go up I will ask them to all say it aloud. 

2)  I will then tack up the chart with the tongue twister on it so that we can use a pointer to go over the tongue twister.  I will ask the students to repeat it after me, and then I will have them try and read it by themselves. 

3)  I will then begin to introduce the book, Silly Sally.  I am going to be using a big book because it is great for the students to see the pictures and the words as I read.  Using big books makes it easier for the children to follow along to what I am reading.  Book talk:  Silly Sally is a crazy girl.  She does a crazy thing as she walks into town.  Some of her animal friends join her in her silly walk to town.  I wonder what the town’s people are going to think about her silly self.  Let’s read and find out how silly Sally is.  I will proceed to read the story one time through discussing the important details of the story.

4)  After reading the book, I will discuss with the students that we are going to go back to our seats and I will pass out one piece of primary paper and pencils and we are going to work on writing the letter /s/.  I will explain to the students while demonstrating on the board or on chart paper, that when writing a lower case /s/ you will begin just a little below the dotted fence and make a backwards swirl up to the dotted fence, you will then swirl back around (you should be in the middle of the dotted fence and the ground) then you will wrap a tail coming up backwards from the ground.  A capital letter is done the same way, but you will explain using the sky line to the ground, the dotted fence is not used in the capital /s/.  

5)  After the students get finished practicing their letter writing, I will have them come back to the carpet and we will read Silly Sally again.  This time I will pass out the /s/ snake cards and will have the students raise their card every time they hear the letter or sound /s/.  “Ok, boys and girls, I want to see how well you can pay attention to the sounds that you hear.  I am going to pass out these cards.  What is this a picture of? (a snake)  What letter shape is the snake in?  (/s/)  Ok, I want us to use our cards and I am going to read Silly Sally over again and I want you to listen to for the sound or the letter /s/. During the reading of the story I am going to use highlight tape to highlight the letter /s/ for the students to see more clearly.  When you hear the /ssss/ sound or hear the letter /s/ I want you to hold up your card quietly.  Make sure that you think about when you want to put your card up, and try not to look around at your friends, I want to see what you know!”

6)  After reading the story and having the students hold up their /s/ cards, the students will go back to their seats and draw a picture of their favorite /s/ word.  I will also ask the students to write one sentence, using invented spelling, to explain what their picture is. 


Assessment:  The assessment is going to be an activity that the students will do individually.  The students will be given a piece of paper with the /s/ words and a clip art picture on it.  The student will circle the /s/ word (sand, sit, sad, nest, etc.).  I am also going to call students individually, away from other students, and ask them if they hear the /s/ sound or letter in certain words.  “Do you hear /s/ in grass or lawn?”  These questions and assessments will help the teacher gain a better understanding of what the student’s phoneme abilities are with the letter /s/. 


Follow Up Activity:  This will also be great practice because the students could make an ABC book.  The ABC book would be a letter written and a picture for that letter written by each student and then put together to form a classroom alphabet book.  This is a great way to build knowledge about phonemes, but to also build a classroom community.



            - Lesson Design: “Slithering Snakes” by: Debbie Troha

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

            - Joyful Learning in Kindergarten by: Bobbi Fisher; Heinemann Publication (1998)

- James, Karen. Kindergarten, Auburn, AL, 2006. Auburn Early Education Center, Auburn, AL.

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