Christina Adams
Beginning Reading
Fun with Fish!
Rationale: It is important for children to understand digraphs, which are groups of two successive letters whose phonemic value is a single sound.  This lesson is intended to help students recognize the phoneme and digraph /sh/ in spoken words by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then practicing finding /sh/ in words.  They will also be able to read and spell words (using a letterbox lesson) that contain the phoneme /sh/.

Materials: multiple copies of The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister North-South Books 1992, one picture page drawn by teacher for each child (fish, shoe, desk, chair, shirt, book), Letterboxes and letters (sh,o,t,u,r,d,i,p,f,c,r,a) for each individual child, chalk and chalkboard for teacher

1. First, review the letters s and h, and then introduce to the children to the digraph sh.  Demonstrate the sound that the phoneme /sh/ makes.  /Sh/ is what your teacher says when it is time to be quiet, like ãShhh, class itâs nap time.ä  Everyone make the /sh/ sound together.  /Shhhhh/, very good.  Who can tell me where your teeth are when you make the sound /sh/?  Good, your teeth are together and you let the air leak out of your mouth.
2. Now I am going to say a sentence with the sound /sh/ in it more than once. ãShelly shouts every time Shawn makes a shotä (repeat).  Now letâs all say it together. (repeat)  This time I am going to say it and stretch out the sound /sh/.  Ssshhhelly ssshhhouts every time Sssshhhawn makes a ssshhhot.  How many times did you hear the sound /sh/?  Four times, good job.
3. ãNow letâs practice recognizing the sound /sh/ in a word game.  I am going to tell you two words and I want you to raise your hand when you hear the word that has the /sh/ sound in it.ä  ãDo you hear /sh/ in pants or shirt?  Sock or shoe?  Fish or net?  Shot or play?  Good!
4. ãLetâs get out our letters and letterboxes and practice spelling some words that have the sound /sh/ in them.  Iâll demonstrate first using 3 boxes I am going to spell shot, each box has a different phoneme or mouth move in it.  ssshhh oooo ttttt, so in the first box we put sh then in the next box we put /o/ and in the last one we put t.  Now spell dish, ship, fish, and shut using 3 boxes.  Now, use 4 boxes and spell crash and shirt.  Great job!
5. Write the words on the board and have the students read them out loud.
6. ãWe have just spelled some words that have the sound /sh/ in them.  Now we are going to read a book called The Rainbow Fish.  This book is about a fish that is asked to share his most precious possessions with all of the other fish, letâs see what he does.  While we read look for words that have the /sh/ sound in them.ä  Have multiple copies so that the students can read the book in pairs (buddy reading) and help one another if they have a problem.
7. Assessment:  Use picture page and tell children to write the name of each object on the line underneath, and then circle the ones that have the /sh/ sound in them (fish, shoe, desk, chair, book.)  Then have children read a decodable book individually for the teacher.

Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T (1999) The Letterbox Lesson: A hands-on approach to teaching decoding.  The Reading Teacher, 43, 282-295.
Pfister, Marcus. (19920 The Rainbow Fish.  North-South Books, New York.

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