Teaching Preschoolers the Letter S: Alphabet Recognition Activities

by Carla on March 5, 2010

Preschool teachers and daycare providers can help children learn to recognize and write the letter S through fun activities that support clear learning objectives.

Learning Objectives

  • The students will identify the letter S.
  • The students make and recognize the S sound.
  • The students will learn to trace and write upper and lower case Ss.
  • The students will identify objects that begin with the letter S.
  • The students will participate in Spider, Spider Finger Play.
  • The students will make strawberry pops.
  • The students will listen to books that feature the letter S.

Handwriting and Alphabet Recognition

Introduce the children to the letter S along with simple objects that begin with the letter S. Create a colorful letter S poster board that presents both the upper and lower case S. Include pictures of objects cut from magazines that begin with the letter D. For example: Squirrel, saw, skunk, star, snail, snow, sand, sugar, slipper, shoe, seashell, strawberry, scale, snake, shirt, spider, seal, and sandwich.

Write both the upper and lowercase S on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Demonstrate the S sound and ask the children to make (repeat) the S sound. Next ask the children to think of words (names, objects, or places) that begin with the letter S.

Allow the children to practice tracing the letter S in both upper and lower case using a letter S worksheet. A good example of such a worksheet is available on the First Preschool website. Children can also practice writing and tracing the letter S on blank sheets of paper using pencils, colored pencils, or crayon.

Letter S Group Time

Spider, Spider Finger Play

Spider hurrying,
(Run fingers back and forth.)
Spider scurrying,
See her silken thread.
(Stretch thread between fingers and thumb.)
Spider hurrying,
(Run fingers back and forth.)
Spider scurrying,
See her little web.
(Make spiral with fingers.)

Letter S Cooking and Snack Activity

Strawberry Pops

Ingredients:  10 ounces of sweetened strawberries and 2 cups frozen yogurt.

Tools: Blender, Popsicle molds, popsicles sticks

Add fruit and yogurt to a blender.  Puree, and then pour into Popsicle molds.  Insert Popsicle sticks and freeze for 3 hours or until set.
Letter S Story Time

  • Snake Camp by George Edward Stanley [Random House, 2000]
  • Snow Day by Lester M. Laminack and Adam Gustavson [Peachtree Publisher, 2007]
  • Tiny Snail by Tammy Carter Bronson [Bookaroos, 2000]
  • Shark in the Park by Phil Roxbee Cox , Jenny Tyler and Stephen Cartwright [Usborne Books, 2006]
  • Max Dragon’s Shirt by Rosemary Wells [Puffin, 2000]
  • She Sells Seashells: A Tongue Twister Story by Grace Kim and Patricia Hammel [Scholastic, 1996]

Including these simple activities into the curriculum of child care centers will greatly enhance preschoolers’ language learning. Lesson plans should contain clear learning objectives but also remember to seize spontaneous moments of opportunity to teach.

*Spider, Spider finger play taken from MrsJonesroom.com.

About Carla

Carla Snuggs has written 88 post in this blog.

Carla is a freelance writer from Southern California. She has a B.A. in early childhood education and a Master of Library and Information Science degree specializing in public librarianship and youth services.

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