“Sneaky Snake”

Emergent Literacy

By: Lindsey Barber

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 (snake) and the letter symbol S, practicing 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 “Sneaky snakes slither in the sun”; drawing paper and crayons, word cards with SING, BAG, SHARK, SEAT, CAT, SNOW; the book “Rabbit Ears”, assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/ (URL below).

Procedures: 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 snake and /s/ sounds like the sound a snake makes: ssssss!

2. Let’s pretend we are snakes, /s/, /s/, /s/, [Pantomime putting your hands together and moving them like a snake] Notice where your teeth are? (Pointing to teeth) When we say /s/, the tip of your tongue almost touches above your top teeth and it slows the air coming out of your mouth. Then make a snake sound.

3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word say. I'm going to stretch say out in super slow motion and listen for my sssss.  Sss-a-a-a-y.  Slower: SSS-a-a-a-y-y-y. There it was!  I felt the tip of my tongue almost touch about my top teeth to slow the air and I made a snake sound.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. “Sneaky snakes slither in the sun.” Everybody say it three times together put your hands together like a snake each time you hear /s/. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. “SSSneaky sssnakes ssslither in the sssun.” Try it again, and this time break it off the word.  “/S/neaky /s/nakes /s/lither in the /s/un.”

5. [Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We use letter S to spell /s/. Capital S looks like a snake. Let’s write the lowercase letter s. Form a tiny c up in the air, and then swing back. I want to see everybody’s s. After I put a smile on it, I want to see you make nine more just like it.

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /s/ in sun or moon? Float or sink? Sip or dip? Sock or pants? Sugar or apple? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Move your hands like a snake when you hear /s/ in some words: star, foot, show, go, book, sand.

7. Say: “Let's look at the book Rabbit Ears and see if we can find some /s/ words.” Rabbit Ears is about a rabbit named Hopscotch who doesn’t like to wash his ears. When his cousin Bobtail comes to stay with him he notices Bobtail washes his ears. Will Hopscotch decide to wash his ears? You will have to read to find out! Read page 9, drawing out /s/ words. Ask children if they can think of any more words with /s/. Ask them to draw a rabbit and make up a silly name for it like “sillysilverslop” and then have each student write their silly name using invented spelling. Display their work.

8. Show SING and model how to decide if it is sing or king: The s tells me to put my hands together and move them like a snake and the tip of my tongue touches above my top teeth, /s/, so this word is sss-ing, sing. You try some: BAG: bag or sag? SHARK: shark or dark? SEAT: seat or neat? CAT: cat or sat? SNOW: snow or glow?

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.


Reference: Bruce Murray, Brush Your Teeth With F http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/sightings/murrayel.html

Assessment: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/s-begins2.htm

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