Shush, Sheep, Shush!


Phonemic Awareness Lesson 

By: Amanda Svagdis


Through this lesson students will be able to identify the phoneme /sh/.  Students will learn that some single sounds can contain more than one letter. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling sh. They will learn a meaningful representation (shush by putting their pointer finger to their lips), they will spell and read words containing this spelling, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence sh = /sh/.




-Expo markers

-Poster with tongue twister

-Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1988

-Assessment worksheet (see resource list below)



1.  Teacher will write the letter S on the board, can anyone tell me what sound this letter makes? [/s/] Great! Teacher will then write the letter H. Can you all tell me what sound this letter makes? [/h/] Excellent! Now what do you think will happen when we put these two letters together? Correct, they will make a new and different sound.  Can anybody tell me what new sound these two letters might make? You are right /sh/!  Does the word share have /sh/? Let’s see. SH-are. Did everyone hear it? Now let’s just say the sound. (/sh/, /sh/, /sh/). Great job!

2. Now we are going to do some practice with this new sound. We can find this sound at the beginning AND end of words. With the following words (shake, hush, shine, brush) I want you to say the word and then separate the /sh/ sound from the rest of the word. (Give students a few minutes to say words with their shoulder neighbor with the /sh/ sound separated from the rest of the word) Excellent!

3.  Now I want you to say this tongue twister (written on poster) to practice reading the word and understanding the /sh/ sound.  I will read it once out loud and then I want you to read it with me the second time. (Sharon the sheep had a rash and she washed and washed so it would vanish.) Good now I want you to say it again but this time when you hear /sh/ I want you to put your pointer finger over your lips like you are asking someone to shush. Be sure to repeat or re-explain if students are having trouble.

4. Now I am going to show you how to find the sound /sh/. Do we hear /sh/ in bath or shower? Let’s try it out, /b/-/a/-/th/. No, I never told anyone to shush. Let’s try shower, /sh/-/ow/-/er/. Did you hear it? /sh/-/ow/-/er/. There it is! I told someone to shush.

5. Now I want you to see if you can hear it in the following words, if you do then put your finger over your lips; fish, tooth, brush, trash, stink, socks, cow, and last but not least, sheep. You guys are rock stars! Fantastic job!

6. Since you guys are doing such a wonderful job, we are going to read a book called Sheep in a Jeep! This book is about some sheep that can’t get their Jeep to work. They get out and try to push it, but then the Jeep flies over a hill and lands in the mud! The pigs help the sheep push the Jeep out of the mud and then the Jeep crashes into a tree! Will those silly sheep ever get their Jeep to work? Now let’s pair up and take turns reading Sheep in a Jeep and the teacher walk around checking their progress. After paired reading, we will come back together as a class and read the book aloud.  

7. Alright, now that you guys are /sh/ experts, let’s practice what you know with this worksheet. There is a picture on the left and you must choose the correct bubbles with letters in them to spell the word. You will then write the completed word on the lines provided. [Collect worksheets to assess child’s understanding.]


Hale, Erin. Tell the Fish to Shush:  

Murray, Geri. Oh, I Didn’t Know.

Assessment worksheet:  

Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 1988

Return to Doorways Index.