Rationale: To learn to read, children must learn that letter combinations (digraphs) stand for specific mouth moves. They must learn that when certain letters are together in word they stand for a specific mouth move. This lesson is intended to help students recognize the digraph /sh/=sh. This lesson will be taught using a letterbox lesson.
Materials: Elkonin boxes, letter manipulatives (s,h,i,p,f,r,c,a,d,l), tape, poster with the tongue twister "Sheila sold shells and fish by the seashore", The book, "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Phister: North South Books
1. Start by introducing the lesson by telling the students that they are going to learn a new sound. It is a quiet sound.
2. "Have you ever had your parents tell you to be quiet? What sound do they make?" The teacher will call on students until someone says /sh/. "I want everyone to make the quiet sound for me. /sh/." The teacher will model by placing her finger over her mouth and saying /sh/. They students will reply. "Letâs try it in a real word. Ship. Listen for the /sh/ sound. Sh-iiii-p.
3. Listen for the /sh/ sound in these words. When you hear /sh/ clap your hands one time for each /sh/ sound." Words: shout, lip, ship, shell, sock, fish.
4. Using the posterboard with the tongue twister on it, the students will now begin to learn it and repeat it. "Now we are going to try a tongue twister that is full of the /sh/ sound. Listen, Sheila sold shells and fish by the seashore." The students will repeat it, then the teacher will break it off right after each /sh/ sound: /Sh/ eila sold /sh/ ells and fi /sh/ by the sea /sh/ ore. Have the kids try it also.
5. Now begin the letterbox lesson. Make sure that every child has the necessary letters and letterboxes. Ask the students who remembers from last time what two letters were taped together to create one sound. The students should say c and h. What sound did they make when we put them together. The students will say the /ch/ sound. The teacher will review that c and h go in the same box on their letterboxes. "Today, we are going to do the same thing with s and h. When they are together they make one sound /sh/." Have the students tape s and h together. "So, when we spell a word, we have the same number of boxes as we do sounds." The teacher will then give the students a list of words to spell with their letterboxes and letter manipulatives. Word list: ship (3), fish (3), cash (3), dish (3), flash (4), crash (4). The teacher will provide an example using the word ship.
6. Read the book "The Rainbow Fish" to the class. Read the book a second time and have the students say /sh/ when they hear words that have the /sh/ sound. Next, have the children draw a picture of a rainbow colored fish and write a message to you about their picture using invented spelling.
7. For the assessment, the teacher will ask the students to individually read a list of 4 words that have the /sh/ sound in them. Words include: ship, fish, crash, and flash.
References: Murray, B.A. &Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach to teaching decoding. The Reading Teacher, 43, 282-295.
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