S is for...1

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SWBAT recognize and name the letter S and its sound. SWBAT build vocabulary centered around the letter/sound S.

Big Idea

We use the letter S to read and write.

Prepare the Learner

15 minutes

I always start off my letter/sound instruction by singing two ABC songs.  The first one focuses just on the letters and order of the alphabet.  The second one focuses on the sound of each letter.  I sing these songs every day of the school year.  Even though I have not formally taught every letter and sound at this time of year, the kids quickly learn the songs and they actually recognize many of the letter sounds before I have formally taught them. 


We then review s pictures that begin with the sound of S.  I use the same pattern for these pictures every day and with every letter.  You will see this pattern throughout my lessons.  The basic pattern is I say(name of picture), you say(name of picture), we say letter sound three times.  For example, I may begin with the picture of 'snowman' with the letter S.  I say: Snowman.  Students say: Snowman.  We all say:  /s/ /s/ /s/ 


If you don't have vocabulary cards, here is a great video!





Interact with concept

45 minutes


Students are going to create a 'letter art' piece that we will post for the whole week.  For the letter S, the body of a snake with eyes drawn and a red tongue glued. 


I first show the students the block letter S.  If it can be run on green construction paper, I do that.  If not,  I model how we color it NICELY with one color. I say: When you color in one direction, either across or up/down, your picture looks beautiful.  This is how we color at school.  


Next, comes the cutting.  Many of my students have never held scissors before, so I model cutting for a good part of the year.   It is important to show them how long it takes to cut this letter.  I say: When we cut,  we cut ON THE LINE. 

I stop mid way though and hold up the entire half cut paper and ask, "Am I done?  Is this the letter S?"  Of course, they say, "No."  So I continue cutting.  When I am done, I hold up the letter and ask, "Now is it the letter S?"  Of course they say, "Yes." 


The last part is gluing.  Like cutting, many of my students have never used glue.  I have them glue their letter S onto a piece of construction paper.  I say: You only need 5 little dots of glue on the back of the S. 

I model where to put their little dots by showing: Watch where I put my 5 little dots.  I am going to put one at the top of the S, 3 in the middle and 1 at the bottom.  

I model how to carefully place their S in the middle of the construction paper and say: Be very careful as you turn your S over and glue it in the middle of the paper

The last part is gluing the red tongue.  I cut thin red rectangles and show the kids how to make a tongue tip at the end.  I then glue at the top of the S and draw in one black eye with it.



I release one row at a time to get up, get a letter S and go to their seats to begin coloring (or cutting if it is run on green construction paper)  As they finish coloring they will begin to cut.  My students have scissors in their desks.  I monitor and assist where necessary as students color and cut. 


When they finish cutting, students must raise their hand.  I come over to check their coloring and cutting.  If it is correct and they are finished, I tell them to put their trash in the trashcan and go get a glue and construction paper.  Once they are done gluing their S onto the construction paper, they raise their hand again.  If it is done correctly, I tell them to go get the snake’s tongue. 


I am constantly monitoring all students.  After they glue on their tongue and draw the eye of the snake,  they put their name on the paper and bring it to a table in the room to dry.  They put glue and scissors away and find their workshop center for the day.

Extend Understanding

20 minutes


Students rotate through the centers, going to one per day. 

I have a centers chart where they find their name daily and what center they are assigned to for that day.


My centers are designed to address skills that students need, be it fine motor, gross motor or academic. 

1. Puzzles

2. Pocket Chart- /s/non=/s/ sort (students sort pictures into two groups, those that begin with /s/ and those that do not)

3. Writing-student trace sandpaper letters with their finger(tactile fine motor)Here is a picture!

4. Math-shapes sort: Here is a picture!

5. Computer- students can listen to /s/ pictures and a story on starfall.com