Beginning Reading
Michelle Harris



Rationale:  Reading and pronouncing words correctly is an important component in the educational process.  Children must be able to attach sounds to the appropriate letter.  Some sounds require two letters, these are called digraphs.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children to identify the digraph /sh/, its spelling, and its use in words.

Materials: Elkonin boxes; letter manipulatives of letters a,c,e,f,h,i,l(2),s(2),u,w; cards with /sh/ on them (enough for the whole class); One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss; a worksheet with pictures some with /sh/ sound and some not such as: fish, ship, ball, table, shell, hat, etc.

1. The sound we will be learning today is /sh/.  This is the sound you hear when your teacher is trying to quiet every one down.  Put finger to lips and say /sh/.
2. Now have the students imitate the /sh/ sound with their finger on their lips.  Ask the students if they know which letters make the /sh/ sound.
3. Say: “Yes, s and h make the /sh/ sound.  Listen for the /sh/ sound as I say some words.  Do you hear /sh/ in fish or pond?  Ship or boat?  Light or flash?”
4. “Good job!  Now, let’s spell some words that have the /sh/ sound with our letterboxes.  Keep in mind that digraphs go in the same letterbox, so s and h go in the same box.”  Draw letterboxes on the chalkboard and demonstrate how you would spell ship using three boxes.
5. Have the students spell she (2 boxes), fish (3),  shell (3), slush (4), clash(4) using their letterboxes.
6. Give everyone a copy of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.  Have the children take turns reading the book aloud, each child reading a few sentences at a time.  When the students hear a word with the /sh/ sound, they should hold up their /sh/ card.
7. Write those /sh/ words on the chalkboard and have the children read these words aloud again.
8. For assessment, pass out a worksheet with pictures some with /sh/ sound and some not.  Have the children write the word under the picture if it contains the sound /sh/.  For example: they would write the word fish under the picture of a fish, but would not write the word table under a picture of a table.

Reference:  Elderedge, J.L., Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall, Inc., New Jersey. 1995. pgs. 50-70.

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