S is for...3

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SWBAT recognize and copy /s/ vocabulary words and match the word with the picture.

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

I use these books throughout the year to build the foundational skills of letter/sound knowledge, reading, vocabulary and letter formation. The first few times we do these books, we do them whole group. 


I leave the ‘book’ as a page for the writing part of the lesson.  It is much easier for my students to write on a flat paper than a book that is folded and stapled.  They simply do not have enough experience with books yet to press the page down firmly to write on it and it is far too time consuming for me to do it for every student.


I have them look at each line and I do the capital and lower case Ss much like I do it in the Leo book. Students are seated on the carpet with me and I am up front modeling what they are going to do at their seats.


I say: Boys and girls, everyone look at the page with the title on it.  We are going to write our name on that page on the line at the bottom.  I write my name on that line.


I say: Now we are going to make our letter Mm on each line on the front and back of our paper.  After that, I am going to show you how to cut this and make it into a book!  Does everyone see the number 1 here for page 1? (yes) On this line at the bottom, I am going to write our upper and lower case Ss.  Where do I start for the capital S? (on the top line)  That’s right.  I begin on the top line.  I go: top, up and around, touch the middle, around and down . Remember, for the capital S we go: top, up and around, touch the middle, around and down.  Let’s try one in the air with our fingers.  Ready? (fingers are in the air) top, up and around, touch the middle, around and down.  I make the S in the air with them as I say the directions.

I say: Good.  Lets do the lower case s now.  Where do I start?  That’s right, on the middle line.  Remember for lower case s, I go: middle around to the left, around to the right, sit it down on the line.  I make the lower case s as I say this.  Remember, for the lower case s we go: middle around to the left, around to the right, sit it down on the line..  Say that with me and make an s  in the air with your finger.  Ready? (fingers are in the air) : middle around to the left, around to the right, sit it down on the line.  I make the s in the air with them as I say the directions.


For the subsequent pages, I simplify my narrative to the short version of how to make the letters.  Say:  On page 2, we are going to make the S and s again!  Remember for the S we go: Top, up and around, touch the middle, around and down.  .  For the s, we go: Middle around to the left, around to the right, sit it down on the line. Again, I making the letters as I say the abbreviated directions, so they make sense to the students.  I do the letter Ss on all of the lines in this same fashion.

Say: Now we are going to cut our paper and fold it to make it into a book.  Watch me.  I am going to get my scissors and cut ACROSS on the line.  Not DOWN.  ACROSS.  I cut across on the horizontal line to show students where to cut.  Remember to cut on the line exactly!  Then we fold both of our pieces in half.  Boys and girls, after you have folded these pieces, raise your hand and I will come and staple your book together for you.  Then you can color the pictures.  Does everyone understand what we are doing?  Any questions?  Ok!  Let’s get started!   I usually dismiss them by rows to get a paper and sit down to write their names and letters in the book.


As they are writing, I am monitoring and assisting when necessary.  If students are not using correct letter formation, I erase their letters and ask them to do it again.  I stand and watch to make sure they know what to do.  Depending on the student, I will use hand over hand or highlighter tracing to help them with formation.


After all student books are stapled, we read the pictures and words together. I have my book on the document camera so all students can see it and they are sitting at their desks with their books in front of them.   Say:  Boys and girls, let’s read the title together.  I will say a word, then you echo me.  Ready?  We echo read the title


Turn to page 2.  What picture do you see there? (sandwich)  Touch the word here at the bottom.  Say SANDWICH. (students say ‘sandwich’)  Now look at page 3.  Do you know how I know it is page 3?  Accept student answers, but point out that there is a number 3 on the bottom of the page.  What is that picture?  (saw)  Now touch this word here at the bottom.  Say saw. (students repeat)  I follow this same pattern for the whole book.

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