Shiny Shoes

Mallory Durham

Rationale:  To read and spell words, children must be able to identify letters and their phonemes.  Letter knowledge is one of the best predictors of reading success.  This lesson will introduce the letters, the sound, and the mouth moves for /sh/.  Students will accomplish this by reading words with the /sh/ sound in them. 

Materials:  Primary paper and pencil, chart with "Sherry shines her shoes"; Alphie the puppet; letterboxes for each student with small letters needed for the lesson; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; dry/erase board; marker


  1. Alphie (the puppet) has brought us a silly note.  Let's try to figure out what letters make the /sh/ sound and the mouth movements we make.
  2. Alphie is going to help you remember the /sh/ sound.  When he hears the /sh/, he's going to shine his shoes.  When we hear the /sh/, we can all shine our shoes like Alphie!
  3. Now let's try our tongue twister printed on the chart:  Sherry shines her shoes.  Everybody says it three times together.  Very good!  Now this time I want you to stretch the /sh/ at the beginning of the words.  Here we go!  SSShhherry ssshhhines her ssshhhoes.  Nice job everyone!  Try it again and this time I want you to break the /sh/ off of the words:  /Sh/erry /sh/ines her /sh/oes.  Very well done!
  4. Have students take out primary paper and pencil.  Now let's practice writing the letters that make the /sh/ sound.  Watch me first make the letter s.  Star tbelow the top of the fence, curve left, curve right around and stop.  Now you try!  All students should attempt writing the letter s.  Now watch me make the letter h.  Start below the top of the wall, draw straight down to the bottom of the wall.  Go back up that same line to the fence, curve right and back down and stop at the bottom of the wall again.  Let's see you try it!  Everybody should attempt to write the letter h.  I want everybody to make 7 more s's and h's.  Be sure to pair each s and h up so they can make the /sh/. 
  5. I've got a fun game I want to play with you now.  I've handed you each a set of letterboxes with some letters.  We're going to use those letters to help us spell out a word according to its sounds.  Let me show you.  Model by finding the vowel first which is the i.  Make the /i/ sound.  Next attach the /sh/ to the beginning of the /i/.  Finally, add the /p/ to the end of the first two phonemes to make the word "ship."   

 ship, shell, shore, shift, shoe, Sherry, shirt, show, shop, shine

 2 phonemes:  ash, she
       3 phonemes:  ship, shop, cash, fish, shell
       4 phonemes:  shift

 e, f, h, i, l, l, o, p, s, t

  1. Read the book Fish in Class.  Have the student shine their shoes when they hear the /sh/.  List those words on a dry/erase board.  Have the students draw a picture of an object that starts with the /sh/ sound.  Have each student tell about their drawing when they are finished.  Display their work!

  1. For assessment, use teacher observation as they spell each word according to their phonemes and as they make the /sh/ sound.  Check if they are making the sound correctly.  The teacher may also pull each child individually and conduct a running record.  The passage will be taken from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. 


-      Dr. Seuss, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.   Random House Books for Young Readers:  March 12, 1960.  72 pp. 

-    McIntosh, Kelly (2004).  "Shhh," said the Fish.  A beginning reading design by Kelly McIntosh.  Auburn University Reading Genie Website:  retrieved July 11, 2004. 

-     Success For All Reading Development Team.  Fast Track Phonics for Roots.  Baltimore, Maryland:  Success For All Foundation, 2002. pp. 84

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