Shopping for Shoes

Beginning Reading

Sara K. Smelley




Children must be able to understand that a phoneme (vocal gesture heard in word) can represent more than one grapheme (letter).  When a phoneme is mapped onto more than one grapheme, it is called a digraph.  A digraph is the combination of two letters that make one sound.   This lesson will teach students to recognize that when the letters s and h are combined, they make the /sh/ sound.  This goal will be met by having the children complete a letterbox lesson.  They will also listen for the digraph in spoken words. 







1.)  Introduce the lesson by asking everyone to put their pointer finger in front of their mouth and make a sound that you would make if you were telling someone to be quiet.  “Like this!”  (Make mouth movements along with them’) /sh/  Notice how your mouth moves when we say /sh/.  When you make the /sh/ sound your tongue starts at the roof of your mouth and moves behind your teeth.  Let’s try it again!  /sh/  Great job!


2.)  Since all sounds are represented by letters, who can tell me what letters represent the /sh/ sound (s and h).   Yes!  That’s fantastic!  The /sh/ sound they just made does represent the letters s and h.  “Now let’s practice making the /sh/ sound again.  Great!   


3.)  Now ask the students to tell you which word they hear the /sh/ sound in.  shoe or chew?  rash or rap?  show or bow?  should or could?  shade or paid?    


4.)  For review, have the students practice writing the letter that makes the sound /sh/ (on primary paper).  Model it for them.  “This is how you write it.  For an upper-case letter S, start by forming a c up in the air between the rooftop and the fence, then swing back.  For a lower-case letter s, for m a tiny c up in the air, then swing back.  For an upper-case letter H, start at the rooftop and draw a line to the sidewalk (making a wall).  Then, make another wall and cross at the fence.  For a lower-case letter h, start at the rooftop, come down to the sidewalk, and hump over at the fence.  Fantastic!”         


5.)  Now that everyone knows how to make the /sh/ sound and what letters represent it, let’s say a tongue twister (display tongue twister chart).  I will say it first.  “Shelley and Shannon should shop for shoes.”  Now everyone say it.  “Great!  This time we are going to stretch out the /sh/ sound in the words.  Let’s say it together:  Shshshshshshelley and Shshshshshannon shshshshshould shshshshshshop for shshshshshshsoes.”  Now we are going to say it again and since /sh/ makes the ‘be quiet sound,’ this time I want you all to cover your mouth with your finger when you say /sh/. 


6.)  Now we are going to do a letterbox lesson.  Please take out your letterboxes and pay attention while I demonstrate how to spell the word shop.”   Demonstrate how to do so with your own letterbox on an overhead projector.  Slowly stretch out the word and remind the students that each box represents only one sound and sh is one sound that goes in one box.  I will model slowly stretching out the word shshshshooooppp.  I will put sh in box one, o in box two, and p in box three, because the sh makes one sound so it goes in one box.  Afterwards, I will remove the letterboxes and read the word by itself.  Shop.  “Ok, class now it’s your turn to spell out some words.  Open up three letterboxes and spell the word cash, fish, shush, and ship.  Next, open up four boxes and spell flash, and brush.  Great job!  Now, that you have spelled these words let’s see if you can read the words outside of the letterboxes.”  I will walk around the room and observe the students while we are doing the letterbox lesson as an assessment.  Write the words on the board and have the class say the words together.  “Wonderful job class!”


7.)  Read a book containing lots of sh ‘s like, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. Booktalk:  Look at all of these different fish! Have you ever seen so many? This book is about many different kinds of fish. There are red and blue fish and old and new fish. These silly fish are all doing something, let’s read the book to find out what they are doing!”  The students will note the words that they find the /sh/ correspondence by putting their finger over their mouth when they hear a word with /sh/. I will model how to read the first few pages showing them how to spot the words with the /sh/ sound. Then they will finish the story taking turns reading, alternating by page.   At the end, we will make a list of /sh/ words that were in the book. 


8.)  For assessment, I will then pass out a work sheet containing sh words.  The student will circle the words that contain sh in them and match them with their picture.



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