Marcia Burt
Beginning Reading


 Students need to develop an understanding of different digraphs and an easy one to start with is /sh/. Students will soon become aware that when certain letters are put together in a word they are said while moving the mouth only once. This lesson will help children read, write, and spell words that contain /sh/.

 Chart paper with chant, “Stop that Noise!”
Book Mrs. Wishy Washy.
Class set of Elkonian boxes with the letters (a, b, c, d, e, h, i, l, l , n, o, p, r, s, t, u).
Dry erase board and marker.
Primary paper and pencils for each student.
Worksheet that students have to color in the pictures of words that have the /sh/ in them.


1.) When we walk through the halls or when it gets loud in the classroom, what do we do to tell someone to please lower their voices. Great! We say Shhh! I want you to put your hand in front of your mouth and see what happens when you say /sh/. Everyone do it on the count of three, 1-2-3! What did you fee? A lot of air, great. Now do it again and pay attention to what your mouth does while you say /sh/. On the count of three, 1-2-3! Shhh! Great, tell me what happened in your mouth? The /sh/ sound is made when you put your teeth together and blow air out of your mouth. Can anyone tell me what two letters are put together to make the /sh/ sound? Very good, you are right, it is an s and a h that are put together to make the /sh/ sound. This sound is called a digraph because it uses two letters put together to make one sound.

2.) Now I am going to read you a sentence and I want you to listen very hard for the /sh/ sound. Shelly sold seashells by the seashore. Does every hear the /sh/ sound when I say those words. Okay great, lets try this together. Everyone read the tongue twister with me a couple of times. Good job! Now I want us to stretch out the /sh/ sounds. Shhhelly sold seashhhhells by the seashhhore.

3.) You guys are doing a great job, but now I want to see who knows the /sh/ sound the best. Is it the boys or girls? We are going to do this chant, “Stop that Noise!”, but I only want the boys and girls to do the refrain.

Teacher: Come on boys, tell all the girls
  Tell all the girls, to stop that noise!
Boys:  Sh! Sh! Stop that noise!
  Sh! Sh! Stop that noise!
Teacher: Come on girls, tell all the boys
  Tell all the boys, to stop that noise!
Girls: Sh! Sh! Stop that noise!
  Sh! Sh! Stop that noise!
Great job boys and girls.

4.) Can anyone think of any words that have the /sh/ sound? I don’t want you to yell them out, but instead I want you to use your paper and pencil and write them down. After a few minutes have the students come up one at a time write them on the dry erase board. Talk about all of the words as a class. Is there anyone’s name that has the /sh/ sound?
5.) Erase all of the words and begin letterbox lesson by talking about /sh/ making one sound, so in our letterbox lesson that will only go in one box. Teacher will model how to spell she in two boxes. Now I want everyone to use their letters to put she in the boxes. After that I want everyone to spell ship. Continue with ship, shell, shed, dish, cash, short, shine, brush.
6.) Have a list written on the dry erase board of words that have been spelled and ask the class to read them. When they are reading the words ask them where they hear the /sh/. Do you hear it at the beginning of the word, at the end, or in the middle?
7.) Now we are going to read Mrs. Wishy Washy. Has anyone ever read this book before? Good, because we are going to practice listening for words while I read the book. Every time you hear a word that has the /sh/ sound I want you to raise your hand. Let’s practice! Teacher reads title and students raise hand during wishy and washy. Very good, keep it up during the whole book.

 Students will be given a worksheet with pictures on it. If the picture is of a word that has the /sh/ sound, the students will color it in.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd (1995) Teaching Decoding in the Holistic Classroom. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice Hall. P. 67
Murray, B. & Lesniak, T. (1999) The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-On Approach to Teaching Decoding. The Reading Teacher, 43. Many lessons were used for reference
Mrs. Wishy Washy

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