Lindsay Moseley
Beginning Reading

Shhh!  Be Quiet

Rationale: To learn to read and spell words, children must learn the digraphs that stand for specific mouth moves.  Students must learn that a digraph is two letters but only one sound.  The purpose of this lesson is to help children identify /sh/ when reading and writing words.  I will use a letterbox lesson to teach this correspondence.

Materials: Chart with “Shelly sells sea shells and fish by the sea shore”, elkonin boxes, letter manipulatives {s, h, i, p, o, f, w, c, r, l, e}, book ­ Shadows by Janet Scott ­ Thornton, chalk, and chalkboard

1) I will introduce the lesson by telling the children that sometimes two letters get together and make a special sound.  “Today we are going to talk about S and H .”  “Does anyone know what sound S and H make?”  Shh!  Very good!  “Will everyone put their finger on their lips and say shh.”  The sound /sh/ is made by clinching your teeth together and blowing out of your mouth.

2) Let’s try a tongue twister [on chart].  “Shelly sells sea shells and fish by the sea shore.”  “Let’s say this sentence three times together.”  Now we are going to stretch out the /sh/ in each word.  SSHHelly sells sea SSHHells and fiSSHH by the sea SSHHore.  “Who can tell me how many words have he /sh/ sound in them?”  Excellent!  4 words have the /sh/ sound in them.

3) I want everyone to listen for the /sh/ sound as I say some words.  Do you hear /sh/ in ship or boat?  Dish or plate?  Shoe or sock?  Well done!

4) “Let’s try to spell some words that have the /sh/ sound in them.”  I will use an overhead or dry erase board to model.  I will model how to spell a word in the elkonin boxes.  Make sure that each child has letterboxes and the necessary letters.  “I want everyone to open three boxes.”  The children will spell ship, shop, fish, and wish.  Great!  “Now, I want everyone to open 4 boxes.”  The children will spell crash, fresh, flesh, and slush.  Very good!

5) Now, I will write each of the words on the board.  I will have the students read the words orally.  The children must raise their hands.  I will call on a different child each time.

6) The students will get in groups and read “Shadows.”  Each group will have a book.  The groups will read the book and discuss the words that have the /sh/ sound.

7) For assessment, I will ask each person to write down some words from the book that make the /sh/ sound.  Each student will write one of his or her words on the board.  Then, we will see how many different words the students came up with.  We will read these words together.

Reference: Murray, B. A. & Lesniak, T.  (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-on Approach to Teaching Decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.

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