SSS the SUPER Snake Goes sss

Emergent Literacy

Anne Barron


Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /s/, the phoneme represented by S. Students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning meaningful representation (their finger moving like a snake) and the letter symbol S, practice finding /s/ in words, and apply phoneme awareness with /s/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguishing rhyming word from the beginning letters.


Primary paper and pencil;

Chart with “Silly Sally the snake sings super silly songs”

Drawing paper and crayons

Word cards with sick, lick, meek, seek, dim, swim, stop, pop

The book Verti

Worksheet identifying pictures with /s/. 


 1. Say: Today we are going to be talking about a new letter and seeing how our mouth moves to make the sound the letter stands for. After learning about the letter S you will be able to recognize the letter. The letter we are going to be talking about is a S. We will look at how our mouth moves, we will listen for the /s/ sound that is made with the letter s. S sounds like a snake slithering in the grass.

2. Let’s pretend to be a snake with our finger, /s/, /s/, /s/. [pretend our finger is a little snake]. What does our mouth do when we make the /s/ sound? Notice that when we say /s/, our lips open, our teeth come together and air comes out.

3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word snap.  I’m going to stretch out snap in super slow motion and listen for the sssnake sound.  Sssnaap. Sssnnaap There it was! At the beginning of the word I can feel my teeth coming together and air coming out in the word snap.

4. Let’s try a tongue twister.  “Silly Sally sings super sassy songs.” Let’s all say it together three times.  Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words.  “Ssilly Sssally ssssings sssuper ssassy sssongs.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/S/illy /s/ally /s/ings /s/upper /s/assy /s/ongs.”

 5. Next ask your students to identify words with the /s/ in it. Do you hear /s/ in space or race? Sad or glad? Go or stop? Home or Soon? Face or nose?  Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Slither your snake if you hear /s/: The sad girl snapped her finger slowly to a slow song.

6. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil].  We use letter S to spell /s/.  Capital S looks like a big snake. First form a letter c up in the air between the rooftop and the fence, and then swing back.  Let’s write the lower case letter s it looks like a baby snake. Form a tiny cup in the air and then swing back.

7. Say: Now we are going to read one of my favorite books. It is about a big snake who ends up sitting in the sun too long and cannot move. We will have to read to figure out what happens to him. While I read the story if you hear the sss sound show me with your finger slithering like a snake. [While reading make sure to emphasize the S words. ex. /s/nake and /s/at) After have students draw a picture of a snake being flung in the air. Have them start by writing a capitol letter S and then decorating it like Verdi the snake.]

 8. Show SIT and model how to decide if it is sit or fit: The S is like that slithering snake sss-it. When you read the word, look and listen for the slithering snake.  You try some [showing notecards: SICK: sick or lick?  SEEK: meek or seek? SWIM: Dim or Swim?  STOP: Stop or Pop? Good job.]

 9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet. Students are to complete the partial spellings and color the pictures that begin with S.  Call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.


 Beginning Consonants Worksheet! KidZone Preschool and Kingergarten.

Bruce Murray, Brush your Teeth with 

Adams, M. J. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

Carlson, Mary Cam. (2012). Sss Says the Snake.

Verti, Cannon, Janell, April 1, 1997 Hartcourt Children’s Book; 1st edition.

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