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SSSSS, It's Time to Learn Letter S and /s/ Sound

S Phoneme

SSSSSay, how are you doing? We're going to teach the letter S and its phonics sound here. Make a hissing sound and say "sssss".

To make the /s/ sound, your mouth opens slightly, teeth touching, and air is pushed through to make the "sssss" sound. Try it, say the /sss/ sound. The /s/ sound is a voiceless sound, that is, no vibration is made in the vocal cords while you make the sound.

Let's compare this to letter Z and /z/ sound, and you'll see what I mean. The mouth shape is exactly the same for making the /s/ and /z/ sounds. The major difference is that S is unvoiced while Z is voiced, meaning that when you make the /zzz/ sound, your vocal cords vibrate to make the sound.

Stretch out the sounds a bit. Try making both the Z and S sounds to see the difference. Here are some word examples:

ZAP - /z/ /a/ /p/ (say: ZZZZZZAP)

SAP - /s/ /a/ /p/ (say: SSSSSSAP)

STOP - /s/ /t/ /o/ /p/

SUCH - /s/ /u/ /ch/

Learning Activity for /s/

  1. Show the letter S to the child and demonstrate how to make a proper unvoiced /s/ sound.
  2. Let your child practice the /sss/ sound several times.
  3. Point to "S" and ask "what sound does this make?"
  4. Can you stretch it out and say "SSSSS" for me? Good!
  5. Work on the /s/ sound with the above list of S words.
  6. Ask your child to identify all the /s/ sounds in each of those words.
  7. Print and work on the S worksheet provided below.
  8. Read the rhyme below.

Letter S Worksheets