Beginning Reading: Let’s go FISHING!


Carolyn Klamon


Rationale: This lesson will be used to teach children about consonant digraphs. This lesson will help them understand that sometimes two letters can come together to make a single sound. With this lesson, we will be focusing on the digraph /sh/. We will be working on our reading, writing, spelling, and speaking skills with words that contain the digraph /sh/.


- Chart paper with my tongue twister/sentence (The ship sailed sharply at seven from the shady shore)

- A copy of the decodable text "Shelly’s Shell Shop"

- Elkonin Box with letters (s, h, e, p, u, e, i, r, t, o, v, l)

- Primary Paper

- Worksheet




1. First I will ask the students, "When you want someone to be quiet what do you normally say to that person?" "Shhhhh." Have them repeat the sound while they are put their fingers in front of their mouths like they are telling someone to be quiet. I will ask them if they feel that air when they make the /sh/ sound. The /sh/ sound is made by putting your teeth together and pushing the air out. Do you know what two letters go together to make this sound? The letter S and the letter H. When you see these two letters together in a word they make that special /sh/ sound. When you have these two letters together you create a digraph which makes one sound with two letters.


2. I am going to tell them that I am going to say a sentence and I want you to listen for the words that have the /sh/ sound in them. The ship sailed sharply at seven from the shady spot. Now let’s repeat the sentence a few times together. Raise your hand if you hear the /sh/ sound in that sentence?  Good not let’s say the sentence again and when hear the /sh/ sound we will make the /sh/ sound longer each time we hear it. The shhhhip sailed shhhharply at seven from the shhhhhady spot.  How many times do you hear the /sh/ sound in this sentence? Then I will post the sentence on the board on the chart paper.


3. Now that we know the /sh/ sound is made from the letters S and H, can anyone think of words that have the same /sh/ sound in them that are not in our sentence? Get out your pencil and paper and write down as many words that you can think of that contain the /sh/ sound. Once you are done we can share and discuss our words with everyone.


4. After everyone shares, we will begin the letterbox lesson. I would like everyone to watch me spell the word shell with my letterbox. I will help model this as I sound it out shhhh, e, llllll. Then we will have a list of words and each word will be read out loud while each student spells them with their letter box lesson. I will be walking around guiding them as we work together as a class. 2 phoneme: she, so 3 phoneme: push, sheep, put, back, shirt, 4 phoneme: stop


5. Begin reading the story. Has anyone ever hears of "Shelly’s Shell Shop"? I will have them all come to the floor for reading time while I read to them. This is a fun book about shells and fish, but we will have to read to find out what happens to these silly shells. Have you even gone to a store and they are not open so you have to go to another one? I will read the each page to them. Then as a group we will go back and reread the page and while we are rereading we will stretch out the /sh/ sound whenever we hear it. This should be a fun book and activity.


Assessment: I will give the children a worksheet to assess their skills with sounding out /sh/ words, recognizing /sh/ words, and comprehending /sh/ words. They will read a short sentence and have to circle the pictures on the right that had the words in the sentence. The pictures will be the /sh/ words. This activity can be modified by having me read the sentence to them first. After we are done we can share our answers as a class.


Ryan, Cheryl. "Shelly’s Shell Shop."


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