Shhh! I'm reading!
Emergent Literacy

By: Natasha Rosko



Rationale: The foundation of reading and writing requires that children learn that letters are symbols for phonemes. Children must learn how to recognize phonemes sounds in spoken word, before they can match letters to phonemes. Simple diagraphs are one of the necessary foundations for learning spoken words. However, simple diagraphs are challenging to learn because two letters make one sound. This lesson will help children learn to recognize the simple diagraph /sh/ in spoken words by learning the meaningful representation and the letter symbol for the sound. The students will also have practice finding the simple diagraph /sh/ in words.

 Materials: Primary paper and pencil; chart with "She sheered the sheep's shaggy wool shawl;" drawing paper and crayons; (enter book); cards with memory game words on them (sheep, peep, she, he, sheer, peer, shine, fine). Book: Sheep on a Ship by: N. Shaw.

 1. Sometimes letters like to be disguised as friends and when two letter pairs are together they make a different sound. This sound can trick you because it is not the sound you are used to hearing. The letters s and h work as letter friends together. When s and h are together, they make a disguising sound, /sh/. Today, we will learn that noise and learn how to find s and h together making the noise /sh/. After we learn the noise, we will be able to identify /sh/ words without being fooled by their disguises. 

2. Have you ever head anyone tell you to be quiet by making the noise /sh/? That is the noise we will make today as we learn about our letter friends s and h. Let's pretend we are trying to read and we need to quiet some people down. Will you make the quiet noise with me? Say /sh/ while putting your finger over your lips. Help me quiet some people down! /Sh/.

3. Fantastic. Let's try a tongue twister practicing our new quiet noise. (on chart). "She sheered the sheeps shaggy wool shawl." Those letter friends are tricky! Let's say it three times together. Those letter friends are tricky, but I know we can do it! Great job! Now say it again with me and this time let's really stretch out the /sh/ at the beginning of each word. Fantastic! This time, let's break of the /sh/ sound on each word: "/Sh/e /sh/eered the /sh/eeps /sh/aggy wool /sh/awl."

4. (Have students take out primary paper and pencils). Let's remember together. To make the quiet sound we use two letters as friends. What two letters are they? That's right, s and h. Those two letters become letter friends and disguise themselves and make the /sh/ noise. Let's try writing /sh/. First draw the s.  We draw (s) by making a tiny cup up in the air between our fence and the sidewalk. Then we swing our s down towards our sidewalk. We've made an s! The /sh/ sound needs a friend, remember? What friend does it need? That's right, the h. Now, let's put our h right next to our s. Let start at the rooftop, come down to the sidewalk, and make a hump just below the fence! Now together, we have made our letter friend, /sh/. After I have given you a stamp with my /sh/eep, I want you to make 7 more letter friends together! Now, you know every time you see the letters s and h disguised together, you know they make the quiet noise.

5. Let me shoe you how to find the /sh/ in the word brush. I'm going to stretch out the word brush in slow motion and I want you to listen for the quiet sound. When you hear it, I want you to put your finger on your lips. Ready?! Did you hear it?

6. Call on students to answer and tell how they know they hear the quiet noise. Do you hear /sh/ in he or she? Wish or desk? Sheep or peep? Check or brush? Cheese or dish? Great! Now, let's see if you can spot the quiet noise in these words! Put your finger to your lips when you hear the /sh/ sound. Ready? She sheered the sheeps shaggy wool shawl.

7. Read story. Then have student draw a sheep and write a message using inventive spelling. Display their work.

Assesment: Have the students play a rhyming matching game. When a pair is found, have them determine which word has the /sh/ sound. Using words: sheep and peep, she and he, sheer and peer, shine and fine.

Marsden, Bridgette. Precious Pigs.

Murray, Bruce.  Developing Reading Fluency

Shaw, N. Sheep on a Ship.

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