Seven Snails are Silly

Emergent Literacy Design

Sloan Clifton


Rationale: Before children learn to read they need to able to identify phonemes. In this lesson students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a hand signal (put hands up to the mouth and wiggle fingers like a snake tongue) and the letter symbol S, practice finding /s/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /s/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.



��   Sign with ���Sneaky snakes sing silly songs���

��   Book: New Shoes, Red Shoes by Susan Rollings (Orchard Books 2000)


��   Sheet with a Snake Hissing

��   Assessment Worksheet: Students circle the picture that begins with /s/.


1.  Say:  Learning to identify letters and the sounds they make can be tough. Today we���re going to work on spotting the mouth move /s/. We spell /s/ with the letter S. S looks like a snake, and sounds like a snake hissing.

2.  Lets pretend we are snakes, /s/, /s/, /s/. [ Put hand up and wiggle fingers like a snake tongue] Notice your teeth are touching and you are blowing air across your tongue.

3.  Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word nest. I am going to stretch out nest really slow and listen for our snakes. Nnn-e-e-st. Slower Nnn-e-e-e-ssss-t. Did you hear it? I felt my teeth touch and air blow across my tongue. I can feel /s/ in nest.

4.  Let���s try a tongue tickler. ���Sneaky snails sing silly songs.��� Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time stretch out the /s/ at the beginning of the words. ���Ssssneaky ssssnails sssing ssssilly sssongs.��� Try it again, and this time break it off the word: /s/ neaky   /s/ nails /s/ ing /s/ illy /s/ ongs.

5. [Students can take out their primary paper and pencils] We use the letter S to spell /s/. A capital S and a lowercase s look like snakes. The capital S is a big snake and the lowercase s is a little snake. Let���s write a lowercase s. Now lets write the lower case s ten more times.

6. [You will ask students to answer question and explain their answer] Do you hear /s/ in pest or bug? gravel or sand? five or six? quiz or test? north or west? Now lets see if you can wiggle your fingers like a snake tongue every time you /s/: Sally, bought, a, pair, of, shiny, shoes, for, her, sister.

7. [You will read a book to the children asking them to identify words with the /s/ sound in them] Okay now let���s read New Shoes, Red Shoes by Susan Rollings. We hear about different kinds of shoes in this story. Many of the words have the /s/ sound in them. Every time I say a word with the /s/ sound you can wiggle your fingers like a snake���s tongue.

8.[Now you will need the word cards. Ask students to tell you which words they hear /s/ in. Model the first word and how you find the /s/ sound.] SAVE: save or pave? SAND: hand or sand? FEET: seat or feet? SELL: tell or sell? HIP: sip or hip? SNAKE: snake or bake?

9. [Now pass out a worksheet for you to assess the students understanding for the /s/ sound. Students will circle the picture that begins with the /s/ sound.] Say: Now I need you to circle the picture in each row that begins with the /s/ sound.  


 First School


��        Auburn Reading Genie

��        Rollings, Susan. New Shoes, Red Shoes. Orchard Books 2000

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