Silly Sissy Snake

 Emergent Literacy
Brittany Roberts

Rationale:  In order to be able to read and spell works, children need to understand the alphabetic principle, that is that letters represent phonemes and can be combined to create the words that make up our language.  Consonants are the first letters children typically learn.  This lesson will help children identify /s/.  They will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practice finding /s/ in words. 


Materials:  Primary paper and pencil, chart with "Silly Sissy Snake slides silently through some spaghetti", drawing paper with crayons, Doc in the Fog, picture page with soccer ball, gum ball machine, kids, sun, shoes, hat, spider, snake, rug, mug, crayons, bug



1.  Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a secret code.  The difficult part is learning what letters stand for, that is the way our mouth moves as we say the letters.  Today, we are going to work on finding the way our mouth moves when we say /s/.  At first it might be hard to find the /s/ sounds, but as you look for it and listen for it, you will be able to find it in all kinds of words!


2.  Ask students:  "Have you ever heard the sound a snake makes?  That is the sound that we will be looking for today.  Everyone pretend you are a snake and say /s/.  [Put hands together, palms facing each other and move hands side-to-side in an "s" motion].  Snakes make this sound to let other animals know to be careful.  Let each other know that there are snakes around!  Say /s/."


3.  Now we are going to say a tongue twister with the sound /s/.  "Silly Sissy Snake slides silently through some spaghetti."  Everyone say it three times together.  Now say it again and stretch the /s/ sound every time you say it.  "SSSSilly Ssssissssy Ssssnake sssslidessss ssssilently through ssssome sssspaghetti."  This time we when say it, break of the /s/ sound at the beginning of the words.  "/S/ illy /s/ issy /s/ nake /s/ lides /s/ilently through /s/ ome /s/ paghetti."  Great job!


4.  [Students take out their primary paper and pencil.]  There is a letter that we use to spell /s/.  Let's write it.  Start at the fence.  Make a little c, then swing back, touching the sidewalk.  I want to see everyone's s.  After I put a check on it, I want you to make s  nine more times.  If you see s all by itself that lets you know to say /s/. 

5.  Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word walks.  I am going to stretch walks out in slow motion and listen for the snake.  W-w-w-wa-a-a-l-l-lk-s.  Wa-wa-l-lk-lks-s-s.  There it is!  I hear the snake in the word walks. 


6.  Call on students to answer and tell how they knew.  Do you hear /s/ in runs or talk?  Glass or cup?  Sneaky or calm?  Solo or one?  [Pass out a card to each student] Tell students:  Now we are going to see if we can spot the mouth move /s/.  Silly, Sissy, Snake, silently, slides, through, some, spaghetti. 


7.  Say: "Doc is a wizard.  He begins to play with a doll and then changes it into a top.  Doc keeps changing the object until it becomes fog.  Will the fog make Doc disappear?"  Read Doc in the Fog and talk about the story.  Then read it again, having students make their snake motion when they hear the /s/.  List the words on the board.  Ask students to draw a picture about one of the /s/ words and write a message about it using invented spelling.  Display their work. 


8.  For assessment, distribute a page of pictures and ask students to name each picture.  Then have students circle the pictures that names contain /s/.


Reference:  Bennett, Desiree.  (2003).  Slithering Silly Snake.   

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