Shirley loves to SHAKE her SHAKERS

Clarissa Williams
Emergent Literacy

Rationale: In order for children to be successful in phonics, reading and spelling, they need to understand phonemes.  Children learn to recognize different phonemes and sounds by matching letters to their vocal gestures in spoken contexts. In this lesson, children will learn the sound and spelling of the consonant digraph /sh/ through an expressive representation and written practice.  They will also be able to practice using and spotting the /sh/ sound in both written and spoken language.


            Primary Paper


            Copy of ‘‘A Crash in the Shed’‘ by Geri Murray

        Poster with tongue twister (Shirley found a shellfish and shipped it to the shop)


            Popsicle sticks




1. Ask a question to get the students interested in the lesson.  ‘‘Has anyone ever been to a football game or a basketball game?  What are some of the spirit/pep items you see while at the game?

2. Ask students, have you ever had someone ask you to be quiet by saying /sh/?  Well, today we are going to focus on the /sh/ sound.  Can you say /sh/?  Model how to move your mouth to make the /sh/ sound. [Remember to shake your shakers when you hear the /sh/ sound.]

3. Now, we are going to learn how to do a tongue twister with the /sh/ sound.  Has anyone ever heard of a tongue twister?  Repeat after me, Shirley found a shellfish and shipped it to the shop.  Everyone say it three times.  Now we will say it again, but this time, I want you to stretch out all of the words so we can hear /sh/.  [Remember: Use the motions!]  Now, I want you to break off the /sh/ when we say the tongue twister: ‘‘Sh/irley found a sh/ellfish and sh/ipped it to the sh/op.’‘

4. Now is a good time to have students practice writing the letters.  Pass out primary paper and pencil to your student(s).  It is a good idea to not use mechanical pencils with beginning reading and writing students.  Now we are going to use this paper to practice writing the letters s and h.  We are going to write the lowercase letter s right now.  Form a tiny c up in the air, and then swing back.  This makes an s. Next we are going to write the letter h.  Observe students and help them if they need help.  You can model it again if you need to.  Now when you see s or h in a word you can recognize it and remember that it makes the /sh/ sound.

5. Now, I’m going to show you how to find /sh/ in the word wish.  I am going to stretch wish out and I want you to listen for the /sh/ like in shakers in this word. w-i-sh. There it is, there is the /sh/.  It’s your turn now.’‘

6. Now I’m going to say some words and you are going to shake your shaker every time you hear the /sh/ sound.  ‘‘Wish, now put your finger over your mouth when you hear the /sh/ in wish. Do you hear it in bear? Do you hear it in ship?  Do you hear it in hops?  Do you hear it in wash?’‘

7.’‘Now I’m going to read you the book, A Crash in the Shed by Geri Murray .This is a great book with lots of words with the /sh/ sound.  Let’s read and see what this Crash could be in the Shed and see if you can hear the /sh/ sound.  Remember to use your shaker every time you hear the /sh/ sound. After reading the book once read it again but this time stop at the end of each sentence and have the students identify the words they heard that have the /sh/ sound in them.

8. For further assessment have the students identify different objects in the classroom that have the /sh/ sound in their name. pencil sharpener, shapes, shoes, etc…

9. For an extension activity each student could make their own personal shaker to use at their very own next AU football game.


A Crash in the Shed by Geri Murray Collection Copyright 2006, The Reading Genie.

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