Rationale: Research suggests that alphabetic letter recognition and
phoneme awareness are the most important indicators of first-year
reading achievement in prereaders. Therefore, it is extremely important
that teachers effectively teach the alphabet and the
corresponding phonemes. The goal of this lesson is to introduce the
letter S and its
corresponding phoneme /s/. Students will learn to recognize /s/ in
spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (snakes make the
sound "sss") and the letter symbol S, practice finding /s/ in words,
and apply phoneme awareness with /s/ in phonemic cue reading by
distinguishing rhyming words from beginning letters.
1. Primary Paper
2. Chart with "Slimy snakes slither slowly down the stairs."
3. Picture of the "S" snake
4. Word Cards with SOCK, PINK, STAR, JAM, SICK, SNOW
5. “Swine Lake” by James Marshall (published by Harper Collins, 1999)
6. Assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/ and practicing
writing the letters S and s
1. Say: Our written language is a
secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for-our
mouths move in certain ways when we say words. Today we are going to
work on spotting the mouth move /s/. We spell /s/ with the letter S. S looks like a snake, and the /s/ sounds
like the sound that a snake makes when they hiss. "Sssssssss."
2. Say: Let’s pretend our arms and
hands are snakes. Let’s wiggle our arms and hands and make the "Ssssss"
sound like a snake would make. /s/ /s/ /s/. (Pantomime a snake
with your hands and arms.) Do you
notice how your teeth are together when you make that sound? When we
say /s/ we blow air through our teeth.
3. Say: Let me show you how to find
/s/ in the word sister. I’m
going to stretch it out in super slow motion and listen for my snake
sound. Sssss-i-sssss-t-e-r. One
more time, ssss-i-sss-t-e-r. There
it was! I heard the /s/ sound when I blew air out through my teeth. I
can hear the snake sound in sister.
4. Say: Let’s try a tongue twister
(on chart). "Slimy snakes slither
slowly down the stairs". (Everybody say it three times
together). Now, let’s say it again,
and this time, stretch out the /s/ at the beginning of the words.
"Sssssslimy sssnakes ssslither ssslowly down the ssstairs". Try it
again, and this time break the /s/ off of each word. "/S/ limy /s/
nakes /s/ lither /s/ lowly down the /s/ tairs".
5. (Hand the primary paper and a pencil out to each student). Say: We use the letter S to spell /s/. Uppercase and lowercase S both look curvy like a snake. (Show
the picture of the "S" snake). Let’s
write the uppercase S first.
(Model as you explain how to write an S).
Begin with your pencil just below the
roof and make a little curved c
so that it sits on the fence. Now, without lifting your pencil, make a
curve around the backside of the fence and rest it on the sidewalk. I
want to see everybody’s uppercase S. After I put a smiley face on it, I
want you to make four more just like it. After you write five uppercase
S’s, write a lowercase s. (Model how to write a lowercase s). Begin with your pencil just below the
fence and make a little c that
is between the fence and the sidewalk. Now, without lifting your
pencil, make a curve around the backside of the fence and rest it on
the sidewalk. I want to see everybody’s lowercase s. After I put a smiley face on it, write
four more just like it.
6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Say: Do you hear /s/ in Sparkle or Dull? Loud or Soft? Chris or Mike? Wrist or Finger? Messy or Clean? Let’s see if you can spot our mouths
making the /s/ sound in some more words. Make a wiggly snake with your
arms and hands if you /s/. Funny? Test? Sticky? Blue? Mad? Sad?
7. (Get out the word cards). Show SOCK and model how to decide if it is
sock or clock. Say: The S tells me that this word has the sound that
a snake makes in it-/s/, so this word is ssss-ock, sock. You try some: PINK: Pink or Sink? STAR: Star or Car? JAM: Sam or Jam? SICK: Tick or Sick? SNOW: Bow or Snow?
8. Say: Let’s look at a book that
has lot’s of /s/ sounds in it. (Introduce the book Swine Lake by
James Marshall). Ask: Have any of
you ever been to a lake? What do you normally see at a lake? I want you
to listen to the story to see what we see at Swine Lake, and I want you
to keep your ears open for words that make the same sound as snakes.
Whenever you hear the /s/ sound that a snake makes, I want you to
wiggle you hands and arms like snakes.
9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete
the partial spellings and practice writing upper and lowercase S on their own. Call students
individually to read the phonetic cue words from step # 7.
Bell, Elizabeth. Slinky Scaly Snakes.
Sullivan, Sarah. Nice and Neat Micky
Marshall, James. Swine Lake.
Harper Collins. 1999
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