By: Dee Globetti

Beginning Reading


This lesson can be used to help students recognize the digraph 
/sh/. Students will become aware that when certain letters are put together in a word, and they are said with a single mouth move.  This lesson is designed to help students to read, write, spell and speak words with /sh/ in them. This lesson will specifically focus on the diagraph sh =/sh/. It is important that students are able to recognize these two letters together and the sound they make. In this lesson, they will learn how to recognize sh =/sh/ by spelling and reading words with this correspondence.



Chart paper with the riddle: "The shaggy sheep shook the shop door" on it

Class set of the book by Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Class set of Elkonian boxes, with the letters (a, b, c, e, f, h, i, l, l, o, r, s, u)


Small white boards

Primary paper


Work sheet with pictures on one side and on the other side a blank for them to write the word that would match the picture. (Picture sheet will have pictures of a ship, shirt, dog, shoe, house, shell, hand)



1."When you are at the library and people start talking to loud, what does the librarian say? Shhh…. that's right.  Shhh is the special sound we are going to talk about today and we hear and use this a lot when we want people to lower their voices. Ask them to put their hand in front of their mouth when you say it.  Ask what do they feel? "Air."  The /sh/ sound is made by putting your teeth together and blowing out of your mouth.  Ask if anyone knows what letters are put together to make the /sh/ sound?  "An S and an H."  When these to letter are together in a word they make that special sound, this sound is called a digraph.

 2.Tell students: I am going to say a sentence, listen hard for words that have /sh/ in them.  The shaggy sheep shook the shop door. Let's say that sentence a few times together.  Does everyone here /sh/ in that sentence?  Now lets say it, but stretch out the /sh/ in the sentence. The Shhhagy shhheep shhhook the shhhop door. Can someone raise their hand and tell me how many words in that sentence have /sh/ in them?  "4."

3.We already know that /sh/ is made from the letters S and H.  Can anyone think of any words that were not in our sentence that has that sound in it?  Get out your paper and pencil and write as many words that you can think of.  (Have several of the students write one or two of their words on the board to discuss as a class.) If the students have trouble spelling the words in the letterbox then the teacher should model how to do so. For example. Ship. The teacher would start by asking the student to pick out the vowel in ship. "I" Then say /sh/ and show the student that /sh/ goes in the first letterbox then /i/ goes in the second and /p/ goes in the last letterbox.

4.Erase the words on the board after discussing them, and then begin the letterbox lesson.  I would like everyone to start by spelling she with his or her letters.  (Continue with ship, shell, she, fish, cash, flesh, brush, flush.) 

5.After the kids have spelled all the words, use your own letters to spell the words on the overhead and have them read them as a class.

6.Now I'm going to write some words on my board (small white board in lap). When I turn the board around, I want you to say /sh/ if you see the /sh/ in this word. Ready? (Write first word on board (dish). Give all students the opportunity to say /sh/ if they think it is in this word. If you hear students say /sh/ then ask them where they see the /sh/ in the word and have them point to it. Then ask students when they hear the /sh/. Whether it's at the beginning or middle or end of the word. Then repeat this for each word following)…. Dish, Shop, Dog,

7.Now it's your turn to find some /sh/ words. I have a copy of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish for each of you.  I will give a book introduction.  This story is about two children, a boy and a girl, who are watching and seeing several odd things go by. In order to find out what they see, you will have to read the book. Now with a partner, I want you to take turns reading the book. When you come to a word that has a /sh/ in it, I want you to write it down. When everyone is finished, we will make a poster of the ocean and write all our /sh/ words in the ocean, since our book is about fish. (Give students time to finish reading the book and writing their words down. As a class compile a list of the words with /sh/ in it)

8.Assessment: Now I am going to give you a sheet of paper that has some pictures on the left side and words on the right side. I want you to draw a line connecting the picture with the word.


Geisel, Theodor Seuss.  One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.  Random House Publishers, 1960.

Kendrick, Lauren. "Ssshhopping for Ssshhells." education/ reading_genie/innov/kendrickbr.html


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