baby sleeping

Allison Cox



Students must be able to understand that a phoneme can be represented by more than one letter. Digraphs are two letters that make more than one sound. Today we are going to start with the correspondence sh=/sh/. It is important that students be able to recognize these two letters together and the sound that they make. They will learn to recognize it by spelling and reading words that contain the sh correspondence.


-primary paper and pencil
-chart with "She sells sheashells by the seashore”
-class set of Elkonin boxes, one big set of Elkonin boxes and letters
-baggies with letters: sh, e,a,o,u,r,s,p,t,
- cards with sh on them (1 per student)
-worksheets with /sh/ pictures for assessment (1 per student)
-chalkboard and chalk

-The Shortest Kid in the World by Corinne Demas Bliss



 1. Introduce the lesson by saying, "I know that we've been learning how one letter makes one certain sound, but today we are going to look at two specific letters that make one certain sound. We will see that when we put s and h together, they make the /sh/ sound like in “shape.” Sometimes in our funny alphabet strange things happen, like when two letters make one sound.  We are about to become experts at spelling and reading the /sh/ sound in words."

 2. Have you ever wanted your little brother or sister or your mom to be quite while you try to take a nap? What have you said to them? Or maybe you have wanted someone to be quiet so that you could hear your favorite TV show better. When you desire people to stop talking or stop being loud, you often say “SHhhhhhhh!” This is the sound we will be working with today.

 3.Today we are going to try a tongue twister, and I want you to listen for the sound /sh/. The tongue twister is “She sells seashells by the seachore.” I want you to raise your hand when you hear the /sh/ sound in that sentence. I am going to read it very slowly.

 4. Next, we are going to practice finding the /sh/sound in spoken words. Tell me when you hear the sound. Do you hear it in shop or stop? Shape or grape? Push or pull? Sheet or leak, shirt or pants?

 5. Letterbox Lesson: I want everyone to get out your letterboxes. First, fold them so that only three boxes are showing. (Pass out baggies with only the letters that will be used in the lesson in them.)  I am going to say a few words and I want you to separate the words into the different sounds that make up the word. Model: If I say ship, I am going to think /sh/ /iii/ /p/, and place the letters in the correct boxes. (Teacher should model this on the chalkboard with big boxes and letters.) Do you see how we all have our sand h taped together? I taped these two letters together because when they are next to each other in a word, they make one sound /sh/, which means they go in the same box. Let's all try it! When I say a word, I want you to put the letters in the right boxes according to the sounds in the word.  3 phoneme words: shop, push, dish, shack. 4 phoneme words: shots,  Now, since you all did such a great job spelling the words, we are going to try reading the words. Now I am going to spell the words on the chalkboard for you, and I want you to read them aloud to me. Model: If I place the word chat on the chalkboard, then I am going stretch out each sound to read the word. "/sh/ /o/ /p/, “shop". (Spell the letter box words one at a time on the chalkboard, and let the students read each word together. Make sure you give students a few seconds to figure out the word before anyone blurts out the word.)

 6. Whole Text: Students will read The Shortest Kid in the World by Corinne Demas Bliss in partners. They will note the words that they find the /sh/ correspondence. I will model how to read the first few pages showing them how to spot the words with the /sh/ sound. Then they will finish the story taking turns reading, alternating by page. Booktalk: Emily is the shortest kid in the class. She feels like she can’t do anything. She is going to try to stretch herself out. Do you think she can make herself grow?

7.Assessment: Give each student a worksheet that has different pictures of words that have the /sh/ sound in them.  Also have a couple of words that do not have the /sh/ sound. Have the students write what the picture is beside each illustration. The pictures include: shore, shop, shake, rush, sheets, rash, boy, house, dog, door. The students should color the pictures that do have the /sh/ sound in them and should not color the pictures that do not have the /sh/ sound in them. The teacher should walk around and observe the students while they work. Also, have the students read the words to you that each illustration represents. 


Murray, Bruce A. and Theresa Lesniak. "The Letterbox Lesson: A Hands-on Approach for Teaching Decoding." The Reading Teacher. Vol. 52, No. 6. March, 1999. pp. 664-650.

Back to Constructions.