Shelly Goes to Sherman's Shoe Shop

Emergent Literacy

Ashley Jacobs



In order for students to read fluently, as well as write words, they must have an understanding that letters represent phonemes.  Phonemes are vocal gestures that are found in spoken words.  Letters, or graphemes, are used to visually represent phonemes.  Sometimes more than one letter is needed to represent just one phoneme.  When there is this combination of letters, it is called a digraph.  In this lesson, the digraph /sh/ is taught.  The students should understand that when s and h are beside one another, it represents the vocal gesture of /sh/, and that this phoneme can be found at the beginning, middle, or end of many commonly used words.  The students will hear words that contain /sh/, as well as see words that have sh throughout this lesson.  /sh/ will become memorable to the students by using a hand gesture and a picture.  A tongue twister will also be used.



Shelly's New Shoes by: Pamela Chanko, Illus by Doug James; white board; white board marker; Picture of person putting a finger over their lips; Worksheet that has pictures of objects whose name has /sh/ in them and objects that do not have /sh/ in them (shoe, bat, saw, fish, shapes, pig, ship, house), pencils, crayons

Picture of finger over lips


1)     "I need everyone to sit still and be quiet. SHHH!  Oh, the sound I just make to ask you to be quiet is what we are going to learn about today.  Everyone say SHHH with me.  Great!  Does anyone know what letters are used to show SHHH?  That's right!  It's s and h put together.  sh says /sh/.  Lots of words have sh in them.  We want to be able to read and write these words, so it is very important for us to learn all about /sh/.

2)     "Before we go on, let's remember how we should write the letters s and h."  Write the letters on the white board (make lines on the board to look like primary paper) while saying the following: "First, to make a little s, you should make a tiny c in the air right below the fence and then swing back the other way to touch the sidewalk.  To make a little h, you should start at the rooftop, come down to the sidewalk, and hump over touching the fence in the middle."

3)     "Now that we remember how to make the letters s and h, we need to work on how to remember /sh/.  Here I have a picture of a person telling someone to be quiet by saying SHHH.  You see how she has her finger over her lips?  Well, putting your finger over your lips will help you remember /sh/.  Can I see everyone try putting their finger over their lips and saying SHHH?  Good job!" 

4)     "Let's practice putting our fingers over our lips when we hear what sh says, /sh/.  I'm going to read a sentence to you and every time you hear /sh/, I want you to put your finger over your lips.  Ready?"  Read following sentence at a slow pace allowing the students to have time to put their fingers over their mouths.  "She grabbed Shelly and dashed to Sherman's shoe shop.  Oh, you did a great job of noticing that the word dashed has /sh/ in it even though it's not at the beginning of the word, it's in the middle."

5)     "Now it's your turn to say the sh sentence with me.  Make sure you remember to put your finger over your lips when you say /sh/."  Say the sentence with the students twice.

6)     "Now we are going to say the same sentence again, but we're going to do it a little differently this time.  When you say a word that has sh in it, I want you to stretch out /sh/ when you say it.  For example, if the word I wanted to say was shop, I would say, 'SHHHHHop.'  Let's try saying the sh sentence doing it this way."  Say the sentence with the students twice.

7)     "Now, everyone look at the white board.  I have lots of different words written up here.  I'm going to read two of them to you, and I want you to tell me which one has /sh/ in it.  Remember to put your finger over your lips when you say the word that has /sh/ in it."  The following words will be written on the board: shelf and desk; splash and water; pants and shirt; loud and shout; shiny and special; crab and fish.

8)     "sh may be at the beginning, middle, or end of a word.  Let's look back at the words on the board again.  This time when I point to a word, I want you to tell me whether the sh is at the beginning, middle, or end of the word."

9)     "I think you are beginning to become experts with /sh/.  Show me how good you have gotten at hearing /sh/ by putting your finger over your lips every time you hear /sh/ when I read this book called Shelly's New Shoes.  Remember some words have sh at the beginning, middle, or end of the word.  In Shelly's New Shoes, there is a girl named Shelly.  She has a favorite pair of shoes, but they have holes in them.  Her mother wants to throw the shoes away.  Shelly is very upset.  Her mother takes her to Sherman's Shoe Shop.  Shelly tries on a pair of shoes, but she thinks they are too shiny.  Then she tries on another pair, but she thinks they are a bad shape.  Is Shelly ever going to find a pair of shoes she likes?  To find out we have to read Shelly's New Shoes."  Read Shelly's New Shoes.

10)     Individual assessment:  "I am going to give you a paper that has different pictures on it.  Some of the pictures will be of objects that have /sh/ in their name, but some of the pictures will not have /sh/ in their name.  I want you to color only the pictures that have /sh/ in their name.  Then after you color, you can write the name of the objects under their picture."  Hand out worksheet then help students name the objects if needed.


 Barrowclough, Lauren. (2006). Shelly the Shell says Shhhhhhh! An emergent reading

design. Auburn University Reading Genie Website: retrieved October 5, 2007.

Butcher, Shona. (2003). Fish Fish Fish. A beginning reading design. Auburn University

Reading Genie Website: retrieved October 5, 2007.

Chanko, P. (2006). Shelly's New Shoes. New York: Scholastic Inc.

 Picture of finger over lips. Retrieved November 7, 2007.

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