Elizabeth Sauter
Beginning Reading


All children need to be instructed and exposed to phoneme awareness in order to have an understanding of our written and spoken language.  The goal of this lesson is to help students identify the sh = /sh/ sound in words.  Recognizing digraphs like this one is a hard skill to learn but it must be learned before moving on to reading.  Students need to become aware that digraphs are groups of two successive letters whose phonemic value is a single sound.  This lesson will teach children how to spell words using this correspondence at the beginning of words as well as at the end, using a letterbox lesson, and how to read words with the sh = /sh/ in a whole text.

Letterboxes, letters(a, e, f, h, i, l, p, r, s, t, u, w), tape, Poster with tongue twister “Splish splash, Shelley shaped shampoo suds in the shower.” Splish, Splash! by Sarah Weeks, published by HarperCollins (for each student), primary paper, pencils, bathtub cut out, animal cut outs with words printed on them (fish, bird, shark, whale, trash, truck, shop, house, snake, etc)

1. Now that we have all learned the individual letter sounds, we are going to learn some letters that stand as a pair and make their own single sound.   Today we are going to learn the new sound /s/ and /h/ make when they are put together.  “Let’s review the sound s and  h make alone.  /s/ like sizzling bacon and /h/ makes the out of breath sound. When we put the letters s and h together they say /sh/.

2. Ask students:  “Have you ever gotten too loud while you were playing and an adult told you to be quiet?  They probably told you to ‘shhh’ be quiet.  When s and h are together they make that same sound.  Let’s all try making that sound together.  Put your hand in front of your mouth while you make the /sh/ sound.  Do you feel the air on your hand?  The /sh/ sound is made by puckering your lips and blowing out of your mouth.”

3. Let’s try this tongue twister!  “Splish splash, Shelley shaped shampoo suds in the shower.” Let’s say it three times together.  Now we are going to stretch out the /sh/ sound in each word.  “Splishhh splashhh Shhhelley shhhaped shhhampoo suds in the shhhower.”  Excellent!  Let’s try it again but instead of stretching out the /sh/ sound, separate if from the word.  “Spli-sh spla-sh Sh-elley sh-aped sh-ampoo suds in the sh=ower.”  Good job!

4. See if the students can recognize the sh =/sh/ sound in the following words:  “Do you hear /sh/ in shirt or sport?  Splash or splint?  Wish or what?  Sort or short?

5. Letterbox Lesson:  Pass out letterboxes and letters.  “Today when we spell words we have to remember that we have 2 letters that are going to make one sound.  Let’s all find our s and h, now I want you to use your piece of tape I gave you to tape them together so we can place them in one box.  Let’s start with two boxes, and I will do the first one with you.  We are going to spell ash.  You should have an a in the first box and sh in the second box.  We know that we only put one sound in each box.  The s and h make one sound, so they are joined together in the same box. Continue with she(2), fish, ship, wish, shut, shape (3) shirt, trash, sharp, flash (4)  splash (5).  Walk around the room and make sure the kids are able to spell the words.  Once all the words are done, write them on the board and have the students say the words.  Mix up the order.

6. Each student will read Splish, Splash and talk about the story.  Have you ever tried to fit all your toys in the tub while you take a bath?  In this book we will find out how many animals can join a fish in a bathtub.  Have the students make a list of the words they read with the /sh/.  After all students read the book, or while some are finishing, have the students use their primary paper and write a message about taking a bath, and what they like to play with in the bathtub.

7. For assessment, post a large bathtub cut out on the board.  Have various animal cutouts.  Some of the animals will be from the book and some will not.  Each animal will have a word printed on it.  Each child will come up and draw and animal and read the word and determine if the word has the /sh/ sound in it.  If they can read the word and it has a /sh/ sound in it they will shout splish splash and tape it into the bathtub.  Continue through all the animals.

Splish, Splash by Sarah Weeks, published by HarperCollins, 1999.

www.auburn.edu/rdggenie/breakthroughs/foremanbr.html  “Shhh! I’m trying to learn this digraph!! By Bryant Foreman, Reading Genie Website, Murray, Bruce (ed) 2001

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