"Slithering Snake"


Emergent Literacy

 Leah Solomon

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), tongue ticklers 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; phoneme picture of a snake hissing, chart with "Silly Sammy Sews a Seatbelt Seam"; drawing paper and crayons, word cards with lag,shame, fat, snow, seat; the book "Slim Bill gets a hat", assessment worksheet identifying pictures with /s/ (URL below).


1. today we are going to be learning the /s/ sound. Learning to read can sometimes be a slippery slope to climb. The tricky part is learning how we move our mouth a certain way to make that sound. Today we're going to work on shaping our mouth to make /s/. We spell /s/ with letter S. looks like a snake and /s/ sounds like the sound a snake makes: ssssss! (Show picture of a hissing snake)

2. Let's pretend we are snakes, /s/, /s/, /s/, [Put hands together and weave in and out such as a snake] Pay attention to where your teeth are as you are being a snake. (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 same. I'm going to stretch same out in super slow motion and listen for my sssss.  Sss-a-a-a-m-m-m-e.  Slower: SSS-a-a-a-m-m-m-e. There it was!  I felt the tip of my tongue almost touch about my top teeth to slow the air and I made a sssss snake sound.

4. Let's try a tongue twister [on chart]. "Silly Sammy Sews a Seatbelt Seam." 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. "SSSilly SSSammy SSSews a SSSeatbelt SSSeam." Now we are going to try this one last time but this time I want you to break up the word and make S separate from the word hissing as you say the S part.  "/S/illy /S/ammy/s/ews a /s/eatbelt /s/eam."

5. Have students take out primary paper and pencil]. We are now going to practice writing the letter S. An S looks like a snake and we are going to write the lower case s. For a lower case s for a tiny c cup in the air between the fence and the ditch then swing back. Is everyone ready to show me their s? Awesome Job! I am going to come around a look at everyone's S. If I put a smiley face on yours I want you to write 7 more just like the first one. 

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew: Do you hear /s/ in since or cameflat or soap? hip or soon? sick or pain? sight or orange? Say: Let's see if you can spot the mouth move /s/ in some words. Move your hands like a snake and hiss when you hear /s/ in some words: sand, foot, salt, hard, snow, mister

7. Say: "Let's look at the book" Slim Bill gets a hat" and see if we can find some /s/ words." Slim Bill gets a hat is about a crab named Slim Bill who likes to swim and splash in the sun with his friend Liz well one day Slim Bill gets too hot and he begins to get very mad and said he could not stand the hot sun any longer. What do you think is going to happen with Bill and Liz? Will they continue to stay in the sun or find a new place to play? You will have to read to find out! Read through this short story sounding out /s/ words as you act like a snake while doing it. Ask children if they can think of any more words with /s/.  Since this book takes place near the water have them come up with a word that starts with /s/ that they do in the water and draw a picture of them doing it. Let the students know that they should spell the words the best they can (use invented spelling) Display their work.

8. Show SANG and model how to decide if it is sang or bang: The tells me to put my hands together and move them like a snake and hiss and the tip of my tongue touches above my top teeth, /s/, so this word is sss-ang, sing. You try some: LAG: lag or sag? SHAME: shame or lame? SEAT: seat or neat? FAT: fat or sat? SNOW: snow or mow?

9. For assessment, distribute the worksheet.  Students are to color the words that start with S and name them using invented spellings. Walk around and have them sound out the words they are coloring to make sure they are on the right track.



Bruce Murray, "From the Classroom".   http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/

Assessment http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/phonics-wordswith/letter-s.pdf

Return to the Expeditions Index