Rational: This lesson is designed to help children learn to read. They must learn the letter combinations (digraphs) that stand for specific mouth moves. These beginning readers must learn that when certain letters are together in a word, they stand for specific mouth moves and sounds. This lesson will help children recognize the phoneme /sh/ in written and spoken language. They will also be able to read and spell words that contain the phoneme /sh/.
Materials: Elkonin boxes, letters sh, i, p, f, d, a, c, e, l, l, y, the book "Tish the Fish," and a worksheet where the children would have to match the word and the picture on one side (a picture of a dish with the word dish and on the other side they would have to write the name of the picture underneath). A pencil, paper for a running record and a fake baby Shelly that was sleeping while our lesson was in progress.
1. I would begin by introducing the lesson by explaining that, "Sometimes two letters get put together and make a special sound, today, we are going to talk about the mouth move that S and H make when they are put together in a word. They say /sh/. Can you make that sound? Say it very slowly with me and tell me the shape your mouth makes. When I make the /sh/ sound, my teeth are together, my lips out and the air leaking through. Watch my mouth as I say /sh/, because Shelly the baby is sleeping."
2. Next, I will place two letterboxes in front of the child as well as the letters, sh, I, p, f, d, a, c, e, l, l, and y, instructing the child to turn them over to the lowercase side, allowing the child to "help" the teacher out. You will be spelling the words, ash (2), fish (3), dish (3), ship (3), cash (3), and Shelly (4). As the words progress through the number of phonemes, the size of the letterboxes will get larger. Repeat the letterbox lesson with the six words, then turn the lesson around and you spell out the word and allow the child to read it to you.
3. After the letterbox lesson is complete, give the child the book, "Tish the Fish"; inform the student that "this is a book about a mermaid, as well as previewing the book to create suspense for the child to want to read it. Make sure you have a piece of paper so you can record miscues and take a running record, allowing you to view correspondences he/she needs to work on. Make sure your student is holding the book while he/she is reading to you, this is a very important element with "Beginner Readers."
4. Lastly, tell your student because he/she did such a great job "You can wake Shelly the baby now say, Shelly, wake up!" This is just a quick activity to reinforce the /sh/ sound and praise the child for his/her accomplishments.
*Assessment Activity: This activity will allow the child to play a review game with the use of the worksheet shown in the materials needed. On one side it will have pictures of the letterbox words, with its spelling (word) just below and on the other side, just the picture of the word with a blank to allow the child to write the word containing the sound /sh/.
Reference: Murray, B.A. 7 Lesniak, T. (1999).
Letterbox Lesson. A hands on Approach to teaching decoding. The Reading
Teacher, 43, 282-295
Cusham, Sheila. “Tish the Fish”. Educational Insights. 1990
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