Beginning Reading 

Jordan McWilliams


Rationale:  Just as students need to know how to recognize each vowel sound they need to also learn vowel and consonant digraphs.  It is also essential to be able to read and write fluently.  The purpose of this lesson is to help children identify the consonant digraph /sh/.  The children will learn how to identify the digraph /sh/, its spelling, and its use in words and language.  This will be accomplished by recognizing words with /sh/ in texts and finding pictures with labels that contain the /sh/ sound.


Shoe Man by Alice K. Kunka 

Sh picture cards

Sh word cards

Non-sh word cards

          Non-sh picture cards

Magazines for each child (Time for Kids, Home and Garden, etc.)

          Poster boards-one for each pair 
          Poster with /sh/ and non-/sh/ words         

Letterboxes and letters for each student

Word cards: these, wish, would, like, when, not, will, were, big, very, went, are, no, your, good, how, got, take, old, by, here, before, much, find, better, many

Picture cards: shirt, bell, shoes, tree, fish, house


1.     Today we are going to talk about two letters, s and h and the sound they make when they sit beside each other in a word.  When you see or hear a word that has an S and an H beside each other they make the sound /sh/.  It is the same sound that you use to tell someone to be quiet-Shhh.  Can everyone make that sound?  Shh.  Now when you hear or say a word that has the /sh/ sound I want you to put your finger over your mouth as if you are trying to get someone to be quiet and stretch out the /sh/ sound.  (Demonstrate)  Okay now I am going to hold up pictures and I want you to say the word and tell me if it has the /sh/ sound in it.  Don’t forget to show me your /sh/ movement.  Show children the picture card of the shoe. Ask them what it is. Repeat the word shoe, emphasizing the initial /sh/ sound. Ask children to identify the sound they hear at the beginning of the word. Have them practice saying the /sh/ sound. Mix the sh word cards with some non-sh word cards and show children the cards. Have them say the word and make a shushing sound if it contains the /sh/ sound.  After the word is identified, write each word on the board.

2.     Slowly read the twister below, emphasizing the /sh/ sounds in the words, and have children clap each time they hear the /sh/ sound at the beginning of a word. Now I am going to teach you a short tongue twister that will help you learn the /sh/ sound.

She sells seashells on the seashore.

Okay now it’s your turn to try it.  Let’s say it together and make sure you stretch our the /sh/ sounds.  Repeat until students completely understand how to isolate the /sh/ digraph. 

3.     I have another sentence that is much longer than our tongue twister.  First I want you to listen to me say the entire phrase.  Say the sentence:
Sharon's wish, since she was a fish, was to swim and swish in the dishwasher. The rushing shower of fresh water made her think of life before she moved to her dish.  This time I want you to listen carefully for the /sh/ sound in the words.  I want you to clap only if you hear the /sh/ sound at the beginning of the sentence.  The first time, have children clap when they hear the /sh/ at the beginning of a word. Repeat and have them clap only when they hear /sh/ in the final position. Repeat again, this time clapping at words with /sh/ in the medial position.  

4.     Next, begin the letterbox lesson.  Model first.  Now we are going to practice spelling these words using our letterboxes.  Watch me first.  I am going to spell she.  The /sh/ makes one sound so they both go in one box.  Next /sh/ /e/, e comes after s-h.  She, s-h-e.  Everyone should have their own set of letterboxes and letters.  I will call out a word for you to spell.  I will walk around to see if everyone is spelling the words correctly.  Words to spell include:  3-phonemes-shop, ship, fish, 4-phonemes-shirt, short, and flash.

5.     The class will Shoe Man aloud together, stressing the /sh/ sound. Now we are going to read a book called Shoe Man. This book is about a girl who visits a shoe store. She sees many neat things at the shoe shop. To find out what goes on at the shoe store we are going to have to read this book!

6.     Students will each be given a magazine.  Students sort pictures into different piles based on whether it has the /sh/ sound or not.  Students will work with a partner to make small posters of their findings with /sh/ sound.  I am going to give each of you a magazine.  You are to cut out pictures whose name has the /sh/ sound and pictures that do not.  Afterwards you will work with a partner to make a poster of your pictures separating them into two groups-/sh/ words and non-/sh/ words.  Any questions?

While students are working, teacher will meet with each student individually for a few minutes.  Teacher will have students to read a short passage from Shoe Man.  Students will point out the words with the /sh/ sound.

Assessment:  Teacher will have a poster of pictures of /sh/ sounds and non-/sh/ sounds.  Student will asked to point out the words that contain the /sh/ sound and tell whether it is at the beginning, middle, or end of the word.

Example:  Picture of a shoe (Child must recognize that it is a shoe and begins with the /sh/ sound.

·       Review: Have other books with the /sh/ sound in the classroom that students can read for extra practice.


Reading A-Z.  Lesson Plan for Consonant Digraph SH.

<>Consense Reviews.  Consonant Digraphs and Blends.

Shoe Man
by Alice K. Kunka (1991). Sheck-Vaughn Company.

Click Here To Return To Connections.