To learn to read and spell words, children need the alphabetic insight
that letters stand for phonemes and spellings map out the phonemes in
spoken words. Research shows that letter knowledge is one of the best
predictors of reading success. This lesson will help children identify
the letters s and h, along with the sound
correspondence /sh/. They will learn to recognize /sh/ in spoken words
by learning a meaningful representation and a letter symbol, and then
practice spelling /sh/ in different words.
- Primary paper & pencil
- Chart with ãShelia shops for sheep, shells and
- Sheep on a Ship by Nancy E. Shaw
- Elkonian letterboxes and letter tiles: s, h, e, a, w,
i, o, p, m, f, t (1 set for each student)
- Picture cards of the following: fish, cat, box, sheep,
1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that our written language is a
secret code and that we must learn what the letters stand for. These
letters can stand for different movements we make with our mouths.
Today we're going to work on spotting the mouth move /sh/. Does anyone
know what sound s makes? What about h? Very good! When s
and h are put together, they can make a new, special sound.
Letâs practice making that sound together. Ssssssshhhhh...
2. Has anyone ever told you to be quiet when youâre
being to noisy? Sometimes they might make our new sh sound by saying
/sh/. Like this, sssssssshhhh! Letâs hold our finger up to our
lips so we can remember the sound. Do you feel air coming out? That is
what we should feel when making the /sh/ sound.
3. Now letâs try a tongue twister [refer to chart].
ãShelia shops for sheep, shells, and shrimp.ä Everyone,
letâs say it together two times. Now letâs do it again, but
this time stretch out the /sh/ sounds. ãSsssssshhhhhhelia
ssssssshhhhhhops for sssssssshhhhhhhhhheep,
ssssssssssssssssshhhhhhhhells, and sssssssssssssshhhhhhhhrimp.ä
4. Ask students to take out their primary paper and pencils.
"Now we are going to use the letters and s and h.
Letâs begin! To make an s, make a little c and
swing back. Great! Practice that 3 more times, everyone. Now
letâs try making the letter h. Weâll start at the
rooftop, come down, and hump over. Write that 3 more times as well.
When you finish that, write s and h together 6 times.
Keep in mind that when we write s and h together, the
letters make the /sh/ sound!"
5. Now that we know a little bit more about sh and the
/sh/ sound, weâre going to do a little game by practice spelling
some sh words in our letterboxes!! Iâll show you how to make one
of these words. The word I am thinking of is shop. First I need to find
the vowel in this word. I hear /o/, so thatâs the letter o.
Now we need to figure out the beginning of the word. Sh-op· I
think I hear /sh/ at the beginning, and remember that sh makes that
sound from putting my finger to my mouth when I want someone to be
quiet. So now we have sh and o. Letâs find the
end of this word! Sh-o-p· I think I hear /p/ at the end, so that
would be the letter p. Sh-o-p· shop. The word is shop.
Now I want you to try!
6. Children will make the following words in their letter
boxes with letter tiles:
7. "Everyone did a great job on their letterbox lesson! Now weâre
going to read a book called Sheep on a Ship. Every time you
hear our /sh/ sound, I want you to hold your finger up to your lips
like youâre hushing someone to be quiet. After reading,
weâll talk about some of the different /sh/ words we hear and
write them on the board.
8. Use observation in the letterbox lesson as an assessment." The main
goal for each student is for them to be spelling the words using the sh
for the sh = /sh/ correspondence.
In addition, hold up the different picture cards and ask students to
make their finger-to-lips gesture if they hear /sh/ in the word.
- 2 phonemes: she, ash
- 3 phonemes: wish, shop, mesh, fish, ship
- 4 phonemes: shift
- Letters used: s, h, e, a, w, i, o, p, m, f, t
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