Devon M. Shaw
Beginning Reading

"Swish! Swish!" Says the Fish

Rationale: Reading and pronouncing words correctly is an important part of reading and writing as well as in the educational process as a whole.  Children must be able to attach sounds to the appropriate letter.  Some sounds require two letters, which are called digraphs.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children to identify the digraph sh=/sh/, its spelling, and its use in words.

Materials: Elkonin boxes (1 set per child); letter manipulatives of letters a,e,f,h,i,l(2),o,s(2),u,(1 set per child); fish shaped cards with /sh/ on them (1 per child);pictures of objects-labeled underneath-some with the /sh/ sound and some without the /sh/ sound (such as fish, ship, ball, table, shell, hat, share, shoe, bat, chair, shop; primary writing paper (at least 1 sheet per child); materials for fishing game (blue piece of construction paper per child and fish shaped pieces of paper with the same words on them as the posters, glue); book- Tish the Fish (Educational Insights)

1.  Introduce the lesson by asking the children if they know how to make the /sh/ sound.  Model by placing your finger over your mouth as if you are were asking them to be quiet.  Then ask then if they know the two letters that make up the
/sh/ sound.  Review letters if needed.

2. ãToday we are going to learn the sound s and h make when they are put together.  It is called /sh/ and we usually use this sound when we want someone to be quiet.  Let's all practice saying the /sh/ sound.  Letâs say it three times together-sh, sh, sh. Good.  Notice how your mouth moves; it looks like you are puckering your lips. Now say this silly sentence with me (point to it on the board).  ÎShopping for shoes is nothing a fish would do!âä

3. Pass out fish shaped cards with Îshâ on them.  Also, have pictures of objects ready. ãNow, I want you to listen carefully to these words.  When and if you hear the /sh/ sound, hold your Îshâ fish card in the air:  shell or sock, fish or top, call or cash, boat or ship? Good job!

4. ãEveryone take out your letter boxes and letters.  Only three boxes should be showing.  Now, letâs practice by spelling the word ship together. ãGood job! Please remember that digraphs go in the same letterbox, so s and h go in the same box.ä  Draw letterboxes on the chalkboard and demonstrate how you would spell
ship using three boxes.

5. Have the students spell she (2), shoe (3), fish (3), shell (3), slush (4), flash(4) using their letterboxes. ã Okay, let's review these words on the board.  Who wants to come and write fish on the board? Ship? Shell? She? Slush? Flash? Great writing. Now
let's read these words together.ä

6. ã Now we will do a little bit of independent work. I need table one (six students) to meet me at the reading table. Table 2 can get out your primary paper and copy the silly sentence down.  Then I need you to write a sentence about a fish, a ship, or a shell and draw a picture in the space above the lines. Table 3 needs to get out your glue and follow the directions to our ÎFishingâ game When everyone has done this we will add them to our ocean bulletin board.ä

7. The six students at the reading table will read ãTish the Fishä.   (when they are finished, the tables will rotate until everyone has done all three tasks)ã How many of you have seen the movies ã The Little Mermaidä? This book is about a Mermaid named Tish.  Before we read this book, letâs look at the pictures and guess what is going to happen.  Now I want to go around the table and letâs each read a page.   Remember to read along and listen to make sure that the sentence makes sense.  If it doesnât make sense, raise your hand and we will check it.  Okay, letâs start.ä

8. Assessment: I will assess their understanding of the digraph sh=/sh/ by checking all of their independent seatwork to see if it was completed correctly. We will also go over it together as a class as a wrap-up to the lesson. I will also assess their reading while reading in groups at the reading table as well as assessing their spelling during the letterbox lesson and by reading their sentences.

Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson:  A hands-on approach to           teaching   decoding.     The Reading Teacher, 43, 282-295.

Elderedge, J.L., Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc., New Jersey. 1995. pgs. 50-70.

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