"Shh-h-h" Says Mommy


Cindy Crenshaw
Emergent Literacy

Rational:  Words are comprised of individual sounds called phonemes.  Phonemes are the last, and the most difficult sound unit children learn to perceive.  In order for children to spell and read, they must be aware of the phonemes and the letters that represent them.  Since phonemic awareness does not develop in children as easily as other units of sound, it is imperative that teachers' provide phonics instruction.  This lesson will help children identify the phoneme /sh/.  By learning a letter representation and a letter symbol, they will learn to recognize the /sh/ in spoken words and practice finding /sh/ in words.

Materials:  Sentence strip with Shawn showed Shane that the ship was in ship shape; picture page with ship, boat, fish, worm, shapes, colors, brush, comb, bush, tree, shoe, sock, shark, and seal; primary paper and pencil; class set of cards that have a pair of closed lips with a finger over the middle of them saying /sh/ on one side and a crying baby on the other side; song Skip to My Lou (modified).

Procedures:  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that phonemes are the vocal gestures (mouth moves) we make when we say a word.  Today we will learn the phoneme of /sh/.  After today, you will be able to spot the phoneme /sh/ at the beginning, as well as the middle and end, of all kinds of words

2. Ask students:  Have you ever seen someone tell someone else to be quiet by putting their finger over their lips and saying shh-h-h-hhh?  That's the mouth move we are looking for in words today.  I will model how to spot /sh/ in a word.  Stretch it out and see if you say /sh/, as if to say be quiet.  I'll try one.  Washh-h-h-h-ington.  Yes, I did hear it.  It was right in the middle.

3. Let's try a tongue twister (sentence strip).  Shawn showed Shane that the ship was in ship shape.  Let's all say it as a group.  Now say it again, but this time whenever you hear the /sh/ sound, I want you to stretch it out.  Shhhawn shhhowed Shhhane that the shhhip was in shhhip shhhape.  Let's try it one more time and this time break off the /sh/ from the rest of the word. /Sh/ awn /sh/ owed /Sh/ ane that the /sh/ ip was in /sh/ ip /sh/ ape.  Great job!

4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencil).  We can use the letters sh to spell /sh/.  Let's write it.  We will do the /s/ first.  Start just below the fence line, move up and around as if you were going to make a /c/, then (moving to the right at a slant) slide down to the sidewalk and come around as if to make a backwards /c/  Now let's try the /h/.  Start at the ceiling and go straight down to the sidewalk, back up to the fence, curve over, and now, without lifting your pencil, draw straight down to the sidewalk.  I am going to walk around the room and look at everyone's /sh/.  As I do this, I will place a sticker on your paper.  This will let you know that you did it right at which time I want you to make me a row of /sh/'s just like it.  After this, whenever you see the letters /sh/ together in a word, you will know to say /sh/.

5. (Pass out lips/crying baby cards to each student).  I will now read a book called Show Man by Alice K. Kunka.  As I am reading, I want you to listen for the /sh/ sound.  Every time you hear the sound, I want you to show me the side of the card that has the finger over the lips.  Every time you hear a word that does not have the /sh/ sound, I want you to show me the side of the card that has the crying baby on it.

6. We will now play a game.  We are going to sing a modified version of Ship to My Lou.  First I'll sing Who has a word that starts with/sh/?  Starts, starts, starts with /sh/.  Who has a word that starts with /sh/?  Skip to my Lou my darling! (Call on a student who knows a word that starts with /sh/.  The word is repeated and used in the song.  Ship is a word that starts with /sh/.  Starts, starts, starts with /sh/.  Ship is a word that starts with /sh/.  Skip to my Lou my darling.  Do a few that start with /sh/ and then a few that end with /sh/.  Now try some that have /sh/ in the middle of a word.  List the words the children choose on the chalkboard.  When you are finished with the song, have the children choose one of the words, draw a picture of the word, and then write a message about it using invented spelling.  Display their work.

Assessment:  For assessment, pass out the picture page and pencil.  Ask each child to listen as you mane each picture. Ship, boat, fish, worm, shapes, colors, brush, comb, bush, tree, shoe, sock, shark, and seal.  Now I'm going to name them a little slower and I want you to circle the picture that has the shhh-h-h-h sound.  Ready?  Does ship or boat start with the /sh/ sound? Fish or worm?  Shapes or colors?  Brush or comb?  Bush or tree?  Shoe or sock?  And lastly, shark or seal?

Reference:  J. Lloyd Eldredge (1995).  "Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms." (Pp. 50-70).
       Marilyn Jager Adams, (1990).  "Beginning to Read." (Pp. 40)

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