Your students can hear and say the letter S long before they can read it. The ear naturally links the S sound to everything from the hiss of a snake to gas escaping from a sealed container. Use our list of S words for kids and letter S activities to help connect that sound with the letter S in your students' reading.
S is found in many short words that preschoolers can grasp easily. Help them understand the connection between the sound they hear, the shape of the letter and the letter's connection to the word with these S words for kids.
- Sad: An unhappy feeling
- Saw: A sharp-toothed tool for cutting wood or metal
- Say: To speak, to use your voice to express a word
- See: To perceive with your eyes
- Set: To place an item on a table or surface
- She: A female child or adult
- Sip: To take a small drink
- Sit: To rest on your bottom
- Sun: The closest star to Earth, what makes light in the daytime
Making that sound-symbol connection is the foundation of all future linguistic development. Download and print an easy trace-the-letter activity with that in mind.
There are lots of things that start with S for kids to read about. Check out these longer S words, some of which can be found on the Dolch sight words list. You can also focus on consonant blends such as "sl" and "sh" with these S words.
- Same: Identical to, just like
- Sea: Ocean, large salty body of water
- Seat: Place to sit
- Sand: Small loose bits of rock, common in deserts and beaches
- Seven: Number that comes between six and eight
- Show: To display or demonstrate
- Sing: To make musical sounds with your voice.
- Six: Number that comes between five and seven.
- Slip: To fall on something slick or smooth
- Small: Little or tiny
- Soap: Something that mixes with water to make bubbles and is used for cleaning
- Sound: Something heard, a stimulus perceived with the ears
- Sow: A female pig
- Stop: To quit moving or performing an action
How well do your kindergartners know their words that begin with S? Match text and images with a fun worksheet focused on six important S words.
S words for kids matching activityClick to View & Download
Reinforce early reading in elementary school with helpful S words for kids, either by presenting clear, concrete concepts or by being of very common usage.
- Sack: A bag used for holding things
- Sailboat: A boat pushed by wind power
- Sale: When something is successfully sold to someone
- Second: Number two in line or in a row
- Sell: To offer in exchange for money
- Shall: Will or should
- Silver: a shiny gray metal
- Sleep: To rest and become unconscious
- Slim: Thin, skinny, usually of a person
- Slip: To lose traction on, to slide across
- Slope: Angled surface, especially of a hill or mountain
- Soak: To get completely wet
- Son: Male child
- Song: A musical piece, usually including a vocal part
- Soon: Happening shortly, in a short time
- Speak: To say out loud
- Span: How far something extends
- Spark: Small bright bit of light
- Spike: Sharp, pointy object
- Spin: To move in circles
- Spine: The center bone of the back
- Spoil: To ruin, to make bad
- Spoon: Long-handled utensil for eating liquids
- Spout: Something to help pour liquids out of bowls or pots
- Spray: A jet or spurt of water or other liquid
- Spy: Someone who finds out secrets, usually for their country
- Sunrise: When the sun comes up in the morning
- Sunset: When the sun goes down at night
All of these words are well suited for letter S activities. Simply passing around a newspaper, magazine or other document and having your students underline the S words is a wonderful activity for actualizing their reading. If you have an advanced enough class, you can even encourage your students to look over the document, pick out an S word they know, and define it.
We've selected picturesque words for your first and second graders. Give them art supplies and encourage them to draw a sunrise, a sunset, a boat sailing across the open sea or even tea sloshing out of a cup. That visual cue will provide a permanent anchor for the vocabulary word in their minds.
As of fourth and fifth grade, students should be ready to engage with context and wider meanings of words. At this stage of development, vocabulary moves from being a memorization exercise to a starting point for active, curious literacy. Keep reading for a stupendous selection of words that start with S for kids.
- Sacred: A very special item or tradition
- Sacrifice: To give up something for someone else
- Saddle: Seat placed on a horse for a rider to sit on
- Sage: Wise person
- Sailor: A person who sails and works on a ship
- Salary: The regular money earned from a job
- Salivate: To produce saliva in the mouth
- Salvage: To save and repair something that was nearly ruined
- Sane: Mentally healthy and clear-minded
- Sapphire: A blue gemstone
- Scheme: A sneaky plan designed to trick someone
- Scrap: Some parts that have been thrown away, often metal
- Scrape: To rub roughly along a surface, or a tricky problem
- Script: The lines an actor says in a play or movie
- Season: One of the four periods in the year (winter, spring, summer, fall)
- Secret: Something hidden that a person doesn't want others to know
- Seep: Of a liquid, to ooze through slowly
- Seldom: Not often, from time to time
- Selfish: Thinking only of yourself and not of others
- Sequel: A story written as the second part to an earlier story
- Serum: A medicine used to help or cure an illness
- Shadow: Dark outline formed by blocked light
- Shriek: Loud, high-pitched scream
- Simmer: To keep food on a low heat
- Slake: To ease or make better, especially thirst
- Spade: Small shovel or a suit in a deck of cards
- Spider: A small eight-legged predatory arachnid
- Spoke: Straight piece going from the center to the edge of a wheel
- Suburb: Neighborhood just outside a city or urban area
Sullen: A quiet mood caused by irritation or anger
We chose these words in part as writing prompts. Offer your kids the opportunity to write about "The Sage and Her Spade," or the sorts of scrapes a Spider Spy might get into. Linking that kind of imaginative work to the often less-than-exciting exercise of memorizing vocabulary can help get kids excited about reading.
Make the connection between S words and their meanings with a rousing game of charades. First, split your class into teams. Using a list of verbs that start with S, have volunteers take turns acting out S words for their teams to guess.
S is a common letter with uncommon power. By starting your students off with simple lists to memorize, then steadily involving them in more and more creative work, your class will not only gain a fine understanding of the letter S and its associated vocabulary but also experience the joy and significance of language as a whole.
Still searching for strong S words? WordFinder's list of words that begin with the letter S is a stellar start. It allows you to find words by length, beginning letters and ending letters with its advanced search tool. Super! For more enriching vocabulary and etymology, take a look at our words that start with T.