"Sound Slithery Like a Snake With S"

Emergent Literacy

Jennifer Strickland


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /s/, the phoneme represented by S. Students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (a slithering snake) 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.


Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Silly Steven sold sandwiches under the sun"; word cards with HEAT, SAND, SELL, SUN, SAD; assessment worksheets: identifying pictures with /s/ (URL below) and writing S; snake stickers; Dr. Seuss book: "Dr. Deuss's ABC" book.



1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for--how our mouths move as we make words. Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /s/. We spell /s/ with letter S. S looks like a slithering snake, and /s/ sounds like a snake as it hisses.


2. Let's pretend to be a hissing snake, /s/, /s/ /s/. [Pantomime a slithering snake that is hissing] Notice where your top teeth are? (Touching top teeth). When we say /s/, the tip of the tongue touches below the top teeth and we breathe out.


3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word just. I'm going to stretch just out in super slow motion and listen for my toothbrush. Jjj-u-u-ust. Slower: Jjj-u -u-u-sss-t. There it was! I felt the tip of my tongue touch below my top teeth and I breathed out. I can feel the hissing /s/ in just.


4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Silly Steven sold sandwiches under the sun." Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. "Sssilly Sssteven sssold sssandwiches under the sssun". Try it again, and this time, break it off the word, saying the /s/, pausing, then saying the rest of the word: "/S/ illy /S/ teven /s/ old /s/ andwiches /s/ un.


5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter S to spell /s/. Both the capital S and the lowercase s look like a slithering snake. Let's write the lowercase letter s. For lowercase s, form a tiny c up in the air between the fence and the ditch and then swing back (demonstrate on primary chart paper). Can everyone show me their lowercase s? Great job! I'm going to walk around and look at everyone's S. If I put a snake sticker on your paper please write nine more just like the first one.


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /s/ in cloud or sun? rose or flower? Scream or yell? Basket or bin? Rinse or dry? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Move your arms around like a slithering snake if you hear /s/: Daisy, toe, mouse, sight, lamp, off, Saturday, cup, snake, pants.


7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us on the S page about a boy whose name starts with S. Let's read his name together as we look at the book. "Silly Sammy Slick". Ask children if they can think of words that begin with /s/ like Silly Sammy Slick begins with /s/ for each word. Ask the students to make up a silly creature name like Siffy-softy-Sue, or Sizzy-sonny-Steve. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work around the classroom to help them remember /s/.


8. Show a card with the word SAND and model how to decide if it is sand or hand. The S tells me to hiss like a snake, /s/, so this word is sss-and, sand. You try some: SELL: sell or well? HEAT: heat or seat? SAD: sad or mad? SUN: sun or fun?


9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete a worksheet where they practice writing both the capital and the lowercase S. Then, they will complete a worksheet where they must say the objects in the pictures, circling the ones that they hear the slithering /s/ sound in. Finally, call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8. Through these three activities, you can fully assess the students' abilities to identify /s/ and write S.



 "Slithering Snakes". Dobbin, Samantha. http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/adventures/dobbinel.htm







Dr. Seuss. Dr. Seuss's ABC: An Amazing Alphabet Book! Random House Books for Young Readers. 1996.  


Image: http://www.123rf.com/photo_13864774_funny-snake-cartoon.html