Sneaky Snake! I say With S…

                                                                                                                                                   Emergent Literacy Design
                                                                                                                                                               Mary Beth Smith

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 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 Sally sat so sweetly”; drawing paper and crayons; Dr. Seuss’s ABC;word cards with SOG, SAD, FEET, SAND, MILK, and SOIL; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/ (URL below).

Procedure: 1. Say: Our written language is a secret code. The tricky part is learning what letters stand for – the mouth moves we make as we say words.  Today we’re going to work on spotting the mouth move /s/. We spell /s/ with letter S. S looks like a snakes, and /s/ sounds like a snake rattling its tongue.

2. Let’s pretend to be a snake, /s/, /s/, /s/. [Pantomime being s snake with my hands]. Notice where your top teeth and bottom teeth are? (Almost touching each other) Notice where your tongue is? (Pushing toward your bottom teeth). When we say /s/, we blow air between your top teeth and bottom teeth.

3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word rest. I’m going to stretch rest out in super slow motion and listen for me sneaky snake. Rrr-e-e-est. Slower: Rrr-e-e-e-sss-t. There it was! I felt my teeth almost touch, and my tongue was pushed toward my bottom teeth. I can feel the sneaky snake /s/ in rest.

4. Let’s try a tongue twister  [on chart]. “Silly Sally sat so sweetly.” Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. “Sssilly Sssally sssat ssso sssweetly.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word: “/s/illy /s/ally /s/at /s/o /s/weetly.”

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter S  to spell /s/. Capital and lower case S looks like a snake. Let’s write the lowercase letter s. Start just below the fence. Start to make a little c up in the air, then curve it, until you finished the c then curve it around to make a backwards c. I want to see everybody’s s. After I put a smile on it, I want you to make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /s/ in moon or sun? sand or beach? as or at? rest or wake? pass or fail? Say: Let’s see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Show your snake (use your arms in the motion of a snake) if you hear /s/: What, simple, slush, jig, slow, sip, to, the, white, super.

7. Say: “Let’s look at an alphabet book. Dr. Seuss tells us about a funny boy whose name starts with S. Can you guess?” Silly Sammy Slick is a very funny boy. He is a boy who slipped on six sodas. What do you think happened when he slipped on six sodas?  Read page 44, drawing out /s/. Ask the children is the can think of others words with /s/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like Sassy-sissy-ses. Then have each student write their silly name with invented spelling and draw a picture of their silly creature. Display their work.

8. Show SAT and model how to decide if it is sat or mat. The S tells me sneaky snake, /s/, so this word is sss-at, sat. You try some :SIX: six or fix? MEAT: seat or meant? SAND: sand or band? PORT: sort or port? SALE: sale or tale?

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 phonetic cue words from step #8.


"Hisssssing Snake Says SSSsss
" by Alyssa Gilman:

Assessment worksheet:

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