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Spotlight on Articulation S
Ages: 5-10   Grades: K-5

Fun games like Submarine Sightings and other lively, pick-up-and-use activities target articulation of s in all positions of words and across all levels of sound production.


  • Successfully articulate s in syllables, words, sentences, and storytelling
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** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

The stimulating lessons give students plenty to talk about and feature:

  • practice articulation
    of s in a variety of phonetic contexts
  • reproducible pages with a wide variety of interactive learning formats: mazes, rebus stories, sentence fill-ins, picture scenes, story sequencing, games, and more
  • activities arranged in a hierarchy of difficulty
  • lighthearted art to capture children's attention
  • tips for sound production and a progress chart

You may purchase Spotlight on Articulation S individually or as part of the 6-book Spotlight on Articulation set.  The 6-book set consists of:

Spotlight on Articulation CH

Spotlight on Articulation K/G

Spotlight on Articulation L

Spotlight on Articulation R

Spotlight on Articulation S

Spotlight on Articulation SH


Copyright © 2006

40 pages, progress chart

According to the Clinical Guidelines of the Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (, 2005) and the Preferred Practice Patterns of The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (, 2004):

  • Acquiring effective spoken language involves the development of a range of processing skills, which utilizes multisensory information and the development of phonology and articulation.
  • Speech sound intervention should focus on improvement of speech sound discrimination and production.
  • Speech sound intervention should include general facilitation of newly-acquired articulation and/or phonological abilities to a variety of speaking, listening, and literacy-learning contexts.

Spotlight on Articulation S incorporates the above principles and is also based on expert professional practice.


Barb Truman, Lauri Whiskeyman, Margaret Warner


Barb Truman, M.A., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who worked with school-age children before joining the product development team at LinguiSystems.  While at LinguiSystems, Barb wrote and edited products, fielded questions from customers, and staffed booths at conventions.  She is currently enjoying her role as a stay-at-home mom, allowing her to spend precious time with her husband, adopted son, mother, and other family members.

Lauri Whiskeyman, M.A., Ed.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist who worked with school-age children before joining the product development team at LinguiSystems.  While at LinguiSystems, Lauri wrote and edited products, fielded questions from customers, and staffed booths at conventions.  She is currently a speech-language pathologist working with students in preschool through middle school.

Margaret Warner is a freelance artist in Bettendorf, Iowa, who began illustrating for LinguiSystems in 1988.  Her art appears in hundreds of LinguiSystems products.

Barb, Lauri, and Margaret have authored and co-authored several LinguiSystems publications.


You can never have too many materials—especially for articulation practice! It takes a lot of practice to change a student's articulation patterns.  The goal of the Spotlight on Articulation series is to provide lots of fun practice across many levels (e.g., syllable, word, sentence).

In Spotlight on Articulation S, you'll find worksheets with pictures, words, sentences, and engaging activities (e.g., mazes, tic-tac-toes, games, rebus stories, fill-ins).  We have used a variety of words to allow for practice in many different phonetic contexts.  To give students more practice per word, have them repeat the word a specific number of times or do the activity page a second time.

The activity sheets are designed to be pick-up-and-use ready.  They are arranged in a hierarchy by word position, but you can start wherever you wish and pick and choose the pages that suit your student's level of performance.  A progress chart is included to help track your student's progress.

The syllable activity sheet is versatile enough to work on the target phoneme in all positions.  Have the student trace a slide from the consonant phoneme to the vowel as he says the syllable (e.g., "so").  For final position practice, have the student start at the vowel and trace the slide to the consonant phoneme (e.g., "os").  For medial practice, the student starts at the vowel and traces the slide to the consonant phoneme and then back to the vowel while phonating (e.g., "oso").  The vowels can represent long or short vowel sounds as needed for practice.


Tips for Production*

The /s/ sound is produced by placing the tongue tip behind the top front teeth on the alveolar ridge with airflow down the midline.  It can also be produced with the tongue tip down if the tongue tip is tensed.  There are many techniques to help students produce this sound. Here are some starters:

  • Weak jaw muscles may result in a lateralized or fronted /s/ production.  To strengthen the jaw muscles, place a tongue depressor between the student's molars and have him bite down as you pull on the stick.  Repeat on each side for a count of ten and then both sides at the same time.
  • Have the student practice blowing into a harmonica and trying to achieve one pitch.  This exercise encourages a retracted tongue position and channeling the airflow down the midline.
  • To promote tongue retraction, use a mirror to help the student see what he needs to do.  Have him stick out his tongue and then as you try to grab it, have him pull his tongue back.
  • Another way to avoid the fronted tongue placement error is to place an index card or tongue depressor horizontally between the front teeth, extending backward about 1/4 inch.  Have the child say "s" without letting his tongue touch the card/tongue depressor.
  • To refine tongue tip movements, have the student repeat /t/ as quickly as possible.  If the student learns to produce "t-t-t-t-t-t" instead of "tuh-tuh-tuh," he will have an appropriate tongue position (leaving lateral margins up as the mid-front tongue moves) for /s/.

We hope your students enjoy these activity sheets as they practice their /s/ sound.

Barb, Lauri, and Margaret

*adapted with permission from Plass, B. (2002). SPARC R and S. East Moline, IL: LinguiSystems, Inc.