EL Design

Emergent Literacy Design: Hissing like a snake with the letter "S" 

Rationale: This lesson will help children identify /s/ the phoneme represented by S. b Students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation (hissing 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 words from beginning letters. 

Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "Sandy the snake slithers to see her sister"; drawing paper and crayons; Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (Archambalt, Martin, 1989) word cards with SEAT, SAT, DEEP, SING, TAPE, SING; assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/. 

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 a snake hissing. 

2. Let's pretend to hiss like a snake! /s/, /s/, /s/. [Pantomime hissing] Notice where your tongue is? (Touching the back of the teeth). When we say /s/, we blow air between your top teeth and lower teeth. 

3. Let me show you how to find /s/ in the word lost. I'm going to stretch lost out in super slow motion and listen for my toothbrush. Lll-o-o-st. Slower: Lll-o-o-o-sss-t There it was! I felt my teeth touch my tongue and blow air. I can feel the hissing /s/ in lost. 

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. " Sandy the snake slithers to see her sister" Everybody say it three times together. Now say it again, and this time, stretch the /s/ at the beginning of the words. "Sssandy the sssnake ssslithers to sssee her sssister" Try it again, and this time break it off the word: "/s/ andy / s/ lithers /s/ ee /s/ ister 

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. Start just 

below the rooftop. Start by making a little "c" on the fence and then go all the way between the fence and the sidewalk, then make another loop going the opposite direction that finishes at the sidewalk. 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 leap or sock? singer or box? Bake or saw? salt or drop? Stiff or cake? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Hiss if you hear /s/: The silly shark sat on the sad seagull. 

7. Say: "Let's look at an alphabet book. "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is about a coconut tree that has a bunch of letters trying to live in it!" Read page 19, drawing out /s/. Ask children if they can think of other words with /s/. Ask them to make up a silly creature name like Sisser-sissy-sass, or Sippy-Sister- Sang. 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 rat: The S tells me to hiss like a snake, /s/, so this word is sss-at, sat. You try some: SEAT: seat or meat? DEEP: sleep or deep? SOOT: soot or foot? SAD: sad or mad? SING: sing or bring? 

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. 


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e-mail Bailey Burns: bmb0054@auburn.edu