Steve and Harriet’s Wedding!
By Tara Greene
Emergent Literacy

Rationale:  To be successful in reading, it is important for students to learn letter combinations, be able to recognize them, and understand the sounds they make.  This lesson is designed to help students be more familiar with the phoneme /sh/.  After this lesson, children will be able to recognize the /sh/ phoneme in written text, and in everyday language.  During this lesson, students will learn how to work independently, get along with others by working in groups, and use their creativity to help become a better reader.

Materials:  primary paper, pencil, different colored construction paper, crayons or markers, scissors (optional), Popsicle stick for each student, glue, assessment sheet for each student that had pictures that make the "sh" sound, Tish the Fish by Sheila Cushman (or any book demonstrating the phoneme "sh"), plastic covers for each students work, and student should be gradually adding to a booklet filled with phonemes that have already been learned (optional)

Procedures: 1.  I would introduce this lesson by explaining that sometimes two letters, put together, make one sound. I would say, "Just pretend that the letter "s" is a very handsome prince named Steve, that when alone, only makes the "ssss" sound.  Letter "h" is a beautiful princess named Harriet that makes a very soft "huh" sound.  When they are apart they both make very important sounds, but they love each other so much, that when they’re together they make their own special sound.  That special sound is the "shhh" sound. " Have any of you ever been inside your house and were being a little too loud, or inside the classroom, and were making too much noise?"  "Your mother or teacher probably said "shhh".  (Placing your index finger over your lips.)  "Today we are going to figure when words make the "sh" sound, and when we see it spelled in words.

2. Tell the students:  "First we are going to learn what our mouth does when Steve and Harriet get married.  First we have to pucker our lips, keep our teeth close together, and force out air from our teeth, like this…(teacher demonstrates).  Now everyone try.  Place your hand in front of your mouth to feel the air coming out when you make the sound.  An example of a word with both Steve and Harriet in it is fish.  Everyone say fish."

3. "Lets try a tongue twister, using what we now know about the sound Steve and Harriet make when they are together.  Shelly fishes by the shocking seashore.  Now everybody say it again.  Now lets say it again, but every time you hear Steve and Harriet together, I want you to place your finger over your lips like you are telling someone to "shhh", be quiet.  Shhh (finger) …elly fishhh (finger) …es by the shhh (finger) …ocking seashhh (finger) …ore.  Good job everyone, you guys are really catching on."

4. By this time the class should have already studied the "s" and "h" individually, so they should already be familiar with how to write them on paper.  "Everyone get out a sheet of paper and a pencil.  We already know how to write Steve and Harriet by themselves, so lets practice for a minute, writing them after they get married.  We have to remember that even though Steve and Harriet are now married, they can be apart in some words also, so we have to pay attention to see if they are married or not, so we know what sound they make.  (Teacher demonstrates drawing them on theboard)  Everybody be quiet, shhh, like we are actually at the wedding and we must be quiet.  (By now the children should associate Harriet and Steve with the recognition of the letters, along with the sound they make.

5. Next, I would divide the class into groups and play the, "Shhh, We’re at the wedding" game. " Before we play this game, I want everyone to get out a bright colored piece of construction paper.  I want you to draw what you imagine Prince Steve and Princess Harriet look like.  You can be creative and use your imagination. (Give them five to ten minutes to draw Steve and Harriet)  After you have completed your drawing, glue a Popsicle stick to the bottom of your picture, like a fan.  Okay, when I come to each group, I will call out two words and you have to tell me which word has Steve and Harriet together in the word.  The rules are, after I say the words, you must talk quietly within your group and decide which one has the "shhh" sound in it.  Then, I will say the words again, and when I say the words you have chosen, you must all hold up your pictures of Steve and Harriet together.  Group one, your words are "stop or shop".  Now talk with your group.  Okay, now hold up your pictures when I say the words you have chosen. "Stop or shop"!" The students should hold up the pictures when you say "shop".  Make sure to give each group a set of different words, and you can repeat the game as much as needed.
6. Next, I would read "Tish the Fish" to the class.  Then, I would read it again, and ask the children to place their index finger over their lips every time they hear the sound Steve and Harriet make together. (By placing their finger over their lips, noise will be kept to a minimum while reading).  Then I would make a list of all the words in the book that make the "shhh" sound, and allow them to draw a picture of something that that makes the "sh" sound.  I would then have them place their work in a clear cover, and add it to their "Book of Sounds I Have Learned".  (This booklet is optional, but it is a good idea to put each learned phoneme in a booklet, because children like to keep records of their success.)
7. In assessing the students, I would pass out a piece of paper with some pictures (circle if they make the "shhh" sound) and words (also to circle if they make the "shhh" sound).  This will give a clear understanding of what the each student has learned.

Reference:  Lesson by Dara Davis, Shhhhh…She is Sleeping
Cushman, Sheila. Tish the Fish. Educational Insight.  1990

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