Dara Davis
Beginning Reading

        Shhhhh….  She is Sleeping

Rational:  To learn to read, children must learn the letter combinations (digraphs) that stand for specific mouth moves.    They must learn that when certain letters are together in a word they stand for a specific mouth move.  This lesson will help children recognize the phoneme /sh/ in written and spoken language.  They will also be able to read and spell words that contain the phoneme /sh/.  They will participate in small reading groups and in a class letterbox lesson.

Materials:  Poster with “ The sheep on the ship was shocked by the fish on the shore” written on it, Elkonin boxes for the whole class, letters: a c d e f h i l o p r s t u w, eight copies of “Tish the Fish” and a work sheet where the children have to match the word and the picture on one side ( a picture of a ship with the word ship ) and on the other side they have to write the name of the picture under the picture, primary paper, pencils, and tape.

1. I would introduce the lesson by explaining that sometimes “ two letters get together and make a special sound”  “Today were are going to talk about the mouth move that S and H make when they get together.  They say /sh/.  Can everyone make that sound?  Say it slowly and tell me what shape your mouth makes.  When I make the /sh/ sound my teeth are together, my lips out and the air leaks through your teeth. Watch my mouth as I read ship.  I will first look at the vowel /i/.  Then I will add the /sh/ to the /i/and say /shi/.  Then I will add the /p/ and get /ship/. Now we are going to listen for the /sh/ sound in words.”

2. Let’s try our silly sentence:  “ The Sheep on the Ship was shocked by the Fish on the Shore.”  Let’s say it three times together.  Now we are going to stretch out the /sh/ sound in each word “ The SSHHeep on the SSHHip was SSHHocked by the FiSSHH on the SSHHore.”  Who can tell me how many words in our silly sentence have the /sh/ sound in them?  5 word have the /sh/ sound in them.

3. “ Now that we know what the sound the SH makes, lets try to spell some words that have that sound in them.  I need Davie to pass out the letterboxes.  Everyone should get one set.  I am going to pass around several envelops with letters in them.  Only take one and pass it to your neighbor.  Turn them to the lowercase side and raise your hand when you have all 15 letters.  I want you to get a small piece of tape out of your desk and tape the S and the H together.  Does everyone remember how we do our letterbox lesson.  Good.  Who remembers from last week which two letters we taped together?  C and H that’s right.  What sound did they make when they were put together? The /ch/ sound, very good.  Did the C and the H go in the same box or different boxes?  The same, does anyone remember why?  That’s right, because when C and H are together they make one sound.  Today we are going to do the same thing with S and H.  When they are together they make one sound, /sh/.  So when we spell a word, we will have the same number of boxes as we have sounds.  Let’s start with 2 boxes.  Use your letters to spell the word “aaashhh”.  ( I would walk around and glance at everyone’s before I asked for the answer) Who wants to tell me how the spelled “ash”?  Megan? Very Good!  Let’s try some more words using 3 boxes: Fish, ship, rush, shut, dish, shop, shell.  You all are doing such a good job let’s try some words with 4 letterboxes: Crash, flesh, fresh and flash.

4. “ I need eight students to come and read with me at my table.  The rest of you can get out your primary paper and copy the silly sentence down.  Then I need you to write a sentence about a fish, a ship, or a shell and draw a picture in the space above the lines. When everyone has done this we will put them in the hall for everyone to read.”

5. The eight students at my table will read “Tish the Fish”.   “ How many of you have seen the movies “ The Little Mermaid”?  This book is about a Mermaid named Tish.  Before we read this book, let’s look at the pictures and guess what is going to happen.  Now I want to go around the table and each read a page.  Remember to read and listen to make sure that the sentence you read makes sense.  If it doesn’t go back and try to fix it and if you can’t you can ask a buddy to help you.  Okay let’s begin.”

6. For Assessment: I would give them each a work sheet with pictures to match with the words on one side of the paper.  For example, they would have to match a picture of a ship with the word “ship”.  On the other side of the paper there will be pictures with space to write the name of the picture underneath it.  I would also assess their reading when we were reading in a group and I could also assess their spelling during the letterbox lesson and by reading their sentences.

Reference:  Murray, B.A. & Lesniak, T. (1999).  The Letterbox Lesson:  A hands-on approach to teaching   decoding.     The Reading Teacher, 43, 282-295.
              Cushman, Sheila. Tish the Fish. Educational Insights.  1990.

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