Cassidy Maxwell
Beginning Reading

To learn to read and spell words children must learn phonemes and letter correspondences. Sometimes a phoneme is represented by two letters that go together to make one sound such as /sh/. This is called a diagraph and is very common in the English language. The following lesson will help children practice learning the /sh/ sound when they see s and h together in print.

Elkin Letterboxes, letters: s, h, o, p, i, f, d, c, r, b, u, p, s, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Suess, picture page

1. Introduce the lesson by explaining how some letters are placed together to make one sound. To read we must be able to tell when a sound is being made by two letters such as /sh/.
2. How many children have been told by their parents. "SSSSHHH! You are being too loud!" Me too. Now lets be the parents and make the /sh/ sound together by pushing air out our mouth with our teeth together.
3. We will practice with a tongue twister: Shelly showed Shane shells she found on the shore.  Say it with me this time. Wonderful! Now say it one more time stretching out the /sh/ sound. SSSHHHelly ssshhhowed SSSHHHane ssshhhells ssshhhe found on the ssshhhore.
4. Letterbox lesson: Pass out the letters and have the students turn the letters to lower case side. Take tape and connect the s and h to make /sh/. Review and ask, "Does anyone remember what sound this makes?" ( /sh/ Excellent!) Now I will demonstrate with the word ship (sh 1st box, i 2nd box, p 3rd box)
5. Have students spell out shop, fish, and dish. Open another box for crash and brush, and as a final challenge open one more for splash.
6. On the board spell out words and have the students read aloud .
7. In groups read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Suess. Have them go back and point out all /sh/ words.
8. For assessment have students circle and write the name of pictures containing /sh/ from a picture sheet. The worksheet will be corrected aloud when everyone is finished.

Reference: Reading Genie
Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999). The Letterbox Lesson. The Reading Teacher, 53,644-650.
Click here to return to Challenges