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3.5: The Consonant Sound [s]

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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The Consonant Sound [s]

1. You can hear the sound [s] at the beginning and end of stops.

2. Underline the letters that spell [s]. It is spelled three different ways:

\begin{align*}& \text{a\underline{s}ked} && \text{acro\underline{ss}} && \text{\underline{s}ingle} && \text{on\underline{c}e} \\ & \text{\underline{c}entury} && \text{pla\underline{c}ing } && \text{i\underline{c}y} && \text{\underline{s}chool} \\ & \text{colde\underline{s}t} && \text{ki\underline{ss}} && \text{elephant\underline{s}} && \text{gue\underline{ss}} \end{align*}

3. Way #1: [s] is spelled \begin{align*}\underline{<s>}\end{align*} in five of the words.

Way #2: [s] is spelled <c> in four of the words.

Way #3: [s] is spelled <ss> in three of the words.

4. Sort the words into these three groups:

Words with [s] spelled
Way #1: Way #2: Way #3:
asked century across
coldest placing kiss
single icy guess
elephants once

5. Three spellings of [s] are \begin{align*}\underline{<s>}\end{align*}, <c>, and <ss>.

Word Squares. Each of the following words contains the sound [s], spelled either \begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*}, <ss>, or <c>. Fit the words into the squares.

Three-letter word: icy

Four-letter words: kiss, once, song

Five-letter words: asked, cents, guess, sound

Six-letter words: across, resell, summer, thanks

Seven-letter words: century, coldest, guessed, hardest, hottest, nearest, placing,

spotted, started, starter, stopped, sunning, swimmer

Eight-letter words: lightest, smallest, surprise

Nine-letter words: elephants, hungriest, something

Teaching Notes.

Item 5. These three— \begin{align*}<\mathrm{s}>\end{align*},<ss>, and <c> —are the major spellings of [s], accounting forabout \begin{align*}97\%\end{align*} of the instances of [s]. But the other \begin{align*}3\%\end{align*} are quite a tangle—for instance, in scene, psychology, listen, waltz, sword, isthmus, and one pronunciation of schism.The minor spellings of [s] are discussed in Book Eight. For more on [s], see AES, pp.397-406. The <c> spelling of [s] is the soft <c>; the distinction between soft and hard <c> is discussed in Book Three.

Word Squares. You might warn the students that this is a very difficult Squares, especially with all of those seven-letter words. They shouldn't feel bad if they are unable to finish it. In fact, this Squares is large and difficult enough that it might provide a good occasion for some small group competition.

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Date Created:
Feb 23, 2012
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Jul 07, 2015
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