Melanee Erwin
Beginning Literacy

Mom Says Shhh!

Rationale: To learn to spell and read words, children must be able to recognize letter combinations such as digraphs.  Digraphs are two letters that make only one sound.  Children must learn that certain letter combinations together stand for specific mouth moves.  This lesson allows children to identify the letter combination /sh/ when reading and writing words.

Materials: Chart with "Shelly sells shells and fish by the shore", One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Elkonin Boxes, Letter manipulatives (s, h, i, p, o, f, w, c, r, l, e), picture paper with fish, dog, table, shoe, car, and shell.

 1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that sounds make up words.  "Sometimes two letters work together to make one sound.  Today we will talk about S and H and what sound they make together.
 2. ãDoes anyone know what that sound is?  I will give you a hint, your mom probably says this when she wants you to be quiet.  ÎShhâ. Good.  Put your finger to your lips like Mom does when she says shh.  Do you feel the air blowing out your mouth?  You should feel your breath on your finger and your teeth should be touching.ä
3. "Let's try a tongue twister (on chart).  ÎShelly sells shells and fish by the shore.â  Everybody say it three times together.  Now say it again, and this time stretch the /sh/ sound in each word.  Say it with me stretching the sh!  ÎShhhelly sells sshhells and fisshh by the sshhore.â   Good job!ä
 4. ãNow letâs spell some words that have /sh/ sound in them.ä  I will model how to spell words in the Elkonin boxes before having the children spell the words.  Remind students that the /sh/ sound is two letters but one sound.  Each student should have Elkonin boxes and letters.  ãEveryone open three letterboxes.ä  Have students spell wish, shop, fish, and ship.  ãNow open four letterboxes.ä Have students spell crash, flash, and fresh.
 5. ãI am going to read some words and I want you to listen for the /sh/ sound in the words.  Do you hear /sh/ in shoe or foot?  Fish or whale?  Ship or boat?  Very good!ä
 6. Have students work in groups and read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.  Each group should have a book.  The students will read the books and discuss it.  They will then go back and find the words that have the /sh/ sound in them.
 7. For assessment, students will complete a picture page.  Some pictures will have the /sh/ sound and others will not.  The students will identify the pictures with the /sh/ sound by coloring them and writing the name of the picture underneath.  We will go through the worksheet after everyone is finished.

Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999). The Letterbox Lesson.  The Reading Teacher, 52, 644-650.
Seuss, Dr.  One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

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