Make a Snake with S

Callie Daniels
Emergent Literacy

This lesson will help students identify the letter S with the phoneme /s/. Students will learn how to recognize the phoneme /s/ by a meaningful representation (hissing like a snake), and will practice finding the /s/ in spoken words by distinguishing which spoken word has the phoneme /s/. They will learn to write the letter correctly by writing the letter by "making a snake" on primary paper multiple times. They will also practice identifying the letter S in written words through a worksheet. 

Primary paper and pencils for class
Transparency with "Stevey the Snake" on it
Worksheet for assessment

1) Say: "Our language is like a secret code, and to figure it out we have to learn the sounds letters make.  Today we will be learning about the letter S.  Does anyone know what sound the letter S makes?" (if students do not know, show them the sound by saying /s/.)  Tell students: "When we make the /s/ sound our lips are apart, our two front teeth are together, and we blow air through our teeth.  This makes a hissing sound like a snake. See sssss sounds like a hissing snake."

2) "lets all make short hissing S sounds. /s/ /s/ /s/ /s/"

   "Good, know everybody make snake by bending your arm at the elbow and bending you wrist down." (model how to make the snake with your arm) "Everybody make your snake hiss” “sssss /s/ /s/ /s/."

3) "Good! Now I am going to show you how to find the letter S in the word fast. See if you can find the /s/ sound. fff aaa ssssssss ttt. I found it! I heard the hissing snake. Did you?"

"Show me with your snake, when you find the /s/ sound in the word desk. Ddd eee ssss kkk."  Look around to see who is recognizing the /s/ phoneme.   

4) "Good! Lets see if we can all say a tongue tickler. I will say it first."


            "Now I am going to stretch it out: Sssally sssaw sssam sssticking to a sssucker"

"Now lets all say it together, normally: sally saw sam sticking to a sucker" (repeat)

"Now lets stretch it out: sssally sssaw sssam sssticking to a sssucker" (repeat)

5) "Good job, I like how everyone stretched out the hissing sound of S. Now we are going to practice writing the letter S. (model how to write it, on the board as you are explaining it verbally) To write a capital S, we start a little below the rooftop and make a small curve to the left touching the rooftop and then make another line going to the right almost all the way to the sidewalk, and curve it back to the left barley touching the side walk. Lets practice.  Everyone make a Capital S on their paper, and when I come by and check your paper, you may continue to write 10 more."

6) "A capital S and a lower case S look very similar. The lower case S is the same shape but is smaller. To make the S smaller the top of the s touches the fence instead of the rooftop." Model how to write the letter on the board.

"Everyone write a lower case s on your paper, when I come and check your paper, you may continue and write 10 more."

7) When each student has written their twenty upper and lower case letters, proceed with this next verbal activity.

"Do you hear the hissing /s/ sound in sat or dog? Red or start? Bug or said? Sad or love?

"lets see if you and find the /s/ sound in these words. Hiss your snake when you hear the /s/ sound:  Sarah Sent David Seven yellow Stickers"

8) "Now lets look at a snake named Stevey.  Stevey has some fun adventures, lets read about what he likes to do." Show the overhead with the "Stevey the Snake" story on it.  Read the story aloud to the students.

"Now I want you to make up your own story about your snake.  Tell me their name, and write me a short story telling me about them.  Try to use the /s/ sound as much as possible.  Draw a picture of your snake to go with your story."

9) Show SAT and model how to decide if it is SAT or FAT: The S tells me to hiss my snake, /s/, so this word is sss-a-t sat. You try some: SAG: sag or bag? SEED: bead or seed? START: cart or start? SAD: sad or dad? SUN: fun or sun?

10) For assessment, give students the worksheet. Students will connect the Sailboat S to the picture that starts with the letter S. Students will color the pictures starting with S after connecting the lines. I will also ask students to read the phonetic cue words from #9 individually.


Stevey the Snake


Stevey the snake lives in the state of Mississpi. Stevey stays cool in the sandy stream in Stillville. Stevey loves to swim, and protect his home by hissing at intruders. Stevey loves to play with his silly friends.  One sunny day Stevey slithered to his friend Sam’s house to swim. They swam and hissed all day until the sun went down. Stevey and Sam were so sleepy they slept all night long.



I used this cite to get ideas on how to introduce letters and their phonemes to kindergarteners.  I used this cite to find my worksheet as well.  There was no information on who made the site or where the information came from.

The main website is:

The worksheet came from:

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