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Emergent Literacy


Slithery Snake S

Emergent Literacy Lesson

By Holland Brown



Rational: This lesson will help students identify /s/ phoneme represented by S. Students will learn to recognize /s/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation



·         Primary paper and pencil/drawing paper and crayons

·         Chart with “Sally’s snake says sneaky sentences.”

·         Word cards: SLOW, MOP, SOCK, SIP, FIT

·         Assessment worksheet (URL below)



1.      Say, “When we speak, we speak in a code. Our language is tricky because we have to learn how to say letters by moving our mouths. Today we are going to learn how to say /s/. We spell /s/ with the letter S. /s/ sounds like a snake hissing.

2.      “Let’s pretend that we’re snakes. Say /s/ /s/ /s/ /s/ /s/. [Pantomime being a snake] Where are your teeth right now? [Top and bottom front teeth are pressed together] When we say /s/, we push air between our teeth and make a hissing sound.

3.      “Now we’re going to find the /s/ in the word task. I’m going to stretch it out, and I want you to listen to the snake sound. Tt-a-a-s-sk. [Slower] Tt-a-a-s-sk. I heard it! I felt my teeth touch. I can feel the snake /s/ in task.

4.      “Now let’s try an tongue twister. [Bring out chart]. ‘Sally’s snake says sneaky sentences’. Let’s say it three times out loud together. [Say it three times] Now let’s stretch out the /s/ in the words. [Say it again and stretch out the /s/] Let’s say it one more time, and this time we’re going to break off the /s/ from the beginning of the words. ‘/s/ally’s /s/nake /s/ays /s/neaky /s/entences.

5.      “Take out your primary paper and pencils. We use the letter S to spell /s/. A capital S looks like this. [Model how to write S] I want everyone to practice writing an S three times.

6.      [Call on students who raise their hands] “Do you hear /s/ in fun or sail? Sing or hand? Smile or frown? Grape or snow? Let’s see if you can feel your teeth together on some /s/ words. Be a snake if you hear /s/. The, second, grade, student, sings, silly, songs, about, snails.

7.      “Now we’re going to look at a book. This book is by Dr. Seuss and is called Fox in Socks. [Open to page starting with “Who sews”] We’re going to read this page, and I want you listen for /s/. [Read page] What words did you hear that were /s/.

8.      [Show card SLOW] “Does this card say slow or bow? Hmm. Well in slow, I can feel my front teeth touching. I can hear /s/. S-s-l-o-w. So this word is slow. Now I want you to try. Slow or bow? Mop or stop? Sock or clock? Sip or tip? Fit or sit?

9.      Use the worksheet for assessment. Students will identify words that begin with the letter S.



Reference: Murray, Bruce. The Reading Genie.

 http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/. Web. 10 February 2014.

Assessment Worksheet: http://www.kidzone.ws/kindergarten/s-begins1.htm