Sally the Slithering Snake

Emergent Literacy

Cody Godwin

Rationale: Before students learn to read they have to learn the phonemes to be able to read successfully.  In this lesson, the students will learn the /s/ sound which is represented by the letter S.  They will learn a hand gesture of strike down with two fingers for fangs of the snake.  The students will use this hand gesture whenever they heard the /s/ sound. They will apply phoneme awareness with /s/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters. 



Primary Paper

Assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/

Cards with the words (shake, sick, sad, slope, see)

Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963)

Chart with "Sam said he was sorry he put salt in Sally's sandwich"


1. Our written language is a secret code with many letters. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for the mouth moves to help make the sounds that we say come out right. Today we are going to work on spotting mouth moves to /s/. We spell /s/ with the letter S. S looks like a snake, and /s/ sounds like what a snake would make.

2. Let's pretend your hand is the fangs of a snake, let's use our pointer finger and our middle finger to make the fangs.  I want you to curl those two fingers up and move them up and down in a striking motion.  Every time you make the striking motion I was you to say /s/, /s/, /s/. .  Notice that both of your top and bottom teeth are touching, and your tongue lays flat in your mouth, and you blow air through your teeth to make the sound.

3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word Houston. I'm going to stretch out Houston in super slow motion and listen for my snake. Hhh-oo-uu-sss-tt-oo-n. There is was! Did you hear it? I felt my teeth touch together and blow air. I can feel the snake /s/ in Houston.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Sam said he was sorry he put salt in Sally's sandwich" Everybody say it three times with me together. Now say it again, and this time stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. "SSSSam sssaid he wassss sssorry he put sssalt in Ssssally'ssss ssssandwich." Try again, and this time break the /s/ off the word. /s/am /s/ aid he wa /s/ /s/orry he put /s/ alt in /s/ally'/s/ /s/andwich.

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencils]. We use letter S to spell /s/. Capital letter S look like a snake and so does a lower case S. Let's write the lower case s. Start at the belt and go down to the shoe in a curvy motion going left then to the right. Do not pick you pencil up off the paper until you are done writing the letter s. Do the same thing with the upper case but this time you are going to start at the hat and then go down to the shoe in a curvy motion. I want to see everybody's Ss. After I put a star on it, I want you to make eleven more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear/s/ in Shake or bake, sick or pick, sad or mad, slope or mope, see or tree. Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some other words. Move your hand like a snake if you hear /s/: The, soaking, wet, spider, saw, stars, in, the, sky.

7. "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny creature whose name starts with a S. Can you guess?" Read the pages of S, drawing out /s/.  Ask students if they can think of other words with /s/. Ask them to make up silly creature names like snigger, siffer, sear. Then, have each student write their silly creature name with invented spelling and draw a picture to show what it might look like. Display work at the end.

8. Show Stop and model how to decide if it is Stop or mop: S tells me to snake my teeth /s/, so this word is sss-top, stop. You try some Shake or bake, sick or pick, sad or mad, slope or mope, see or tree.

9. Assessment: distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and circle the object that starts with the letter S.  Students individually read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Garnett, Brittney

Dr. Seuss's ABC (Random House, 1963)

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