Shhhh!  I'm Hunting Wabbits!

Beginning Readers

By Vicki Burns

Rationale:  The goal of this lesson is for students to read words.  Also, they will know that when a phoneme is mapped into more than one grapheme makes up a digraph.  This digraph makes one sound though.  This lesson will focus on the digraph sh which makes the sound /sh/.   Students will learn the digraph sh so they can read, write, and speak the digraph/sh/.

: One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Seuss, Dr. (1960) and published by Random House, Inc: New York, NY. 1960, a set of letters and letterboxes for each student, a giant replica of letterbox and letters for the children to see, Assessment check list of pseudo words including: shim, tash, shom, lish, shen for each child.

-Do you ever go to the movies and someone is talking real loud?  “What usually happens to make the person be quiet?  We say /sh/ with our mouth in a small circular shape and we can put one finger over our mouth (model when making /sh/ sound).  Remember s says /s/ and h says /h/.  Together it makes /sh/.  Let’s try to tell the person to be quiet as a class saying /sh/ with a finger over our mouth.  Ready,  /sh/.  Great!  Let’s do it again.  Ready, /sh/.  Perfect! 

 -Do you know what letters make up this digraph /sh/?  Correct, we blend the letter s and the letter h for the /sh/ sound.

  -“Great job everyone!  Let’s try our /sh/ sound with a tongue twister.  I’ll say it first and then we’ll say it together.  Listen carefully.  Shelly’s shower has shorts, shirts, shoes, shrimp, and shampoo (I model the first time and then the I say it again with the class until it is learned).  Very good!  Let’s try it again drawing out the /sh/ sound longer in every word.  Ready?  Shhhhelly’s shhhhower has shhhhorts, shhhhirts, shhhhoes, shhhhrimip, and shhhhampo.  Great job drawing out our /sh/ sound.  How many times did we hear the /sh/ sound in our tongue twister?  Right, seven times!”

 -“Great job sounding out our /sh/ sound!  Now, let’s listen and see if we can find the /sh/ sound in different words.  Do you hear /sh/ in rash or in foot?  Great job!  Do you hear /sh/ in shut or open?  Perfect class!  You are so smart finding the /sh/ sound in the beginning and at the end of different words!” (continue activity for several more words).

-“Great thinking boys and girls.  Let’s now practice spelling our /sh/ sound in letterboxes.  Remember each box receives one sound and our /sh/ sound is made of letters s and h.”.  (Then I will demonstrate on my giant replica of Letter Boxes).  “All eyes on me please.  If I wanted to spell the word sheep, I would find the /sh/ sound at the beginning of my word.  In my first box, I would put the letter s and then the letter h!  Remember that because this is a digraph, both letters will be in the first box.  Then I think and find the /E/ sound is made by two letter e’s in my second box.  Finally /p/ sound is made by the letter p.  I recheck my spelling by sounding out shhhee…p to make the word sheep.  Any questions?  Let me show you how to read a word.  (children see the word lash on the board).  So first I would see that l makes the /l/ sound.  Then I see a makes the /a/ sound; I read l…a… and continue.  I recognize that sh sounds like /sh/.  So I finally combine it all to read lash.  Any questions?   Ok, I am going to pass out the letters you need to spell our /sh/ words in a baggy.  Pull out your boxes and we’ll start spelling shortly.” (I would go through the spelling activity while I walk around and help.  Some words may include: rash, shell, shovel, trash, shark, shut, etc.).

-Next, we will read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss.  I will say, “Great job spelling the /sh/ sound!  You know what?  Dr. Seuss wrote a book that has the /sh/ sound a lot in it!  It is called One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  This book is kind of silly, but is fun because of all the fish.  Let’s read this book together and whenever we hear the /sh/ sound, let’s put our finger to our lip.”.  (read the book together out loud).  “Great reading class!  Now I want you to get in your reading group and take turns reading each page.  Remember to still use your finger when you find the /sh/ sound.  (children go to their group and I start the assessment).

 -For the assessment, I will call one child at a time to meet me.  The child will demonstrate if he or she learned the /sh/ correspondence if he or she can read the pseudo words I made.  Each pseudo word will be on a note card.  I will go through the stack for each child as my assessment.  Sample pseudo cards may include shim, tash, shom, lish, shen, etc.  I think the reading of the pseudo words is the best indicator of correspondence learned because the students have never seen these words before.



Cassie Simpson. Shiny Shells on the Shore.

Liz Hooper.  Shhhh…Something is Fishy.

Jenny Duvall.  Yellow Fish.


Seuss, Dr. (1960). One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. Random House, Inc: New York, NY. 1960.


     Col, Jeananda. Enchanted Learning. 2004-2007.

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