I Like to Shuffle Along in My Shiny Shoes

Beginning Reading Lesson Plan

Brittany Anne Hanie

Rationale:  In order to read and spell words it is important that children can identify letters and their phonemes.  It has been shown that letter knowledge is one of the best predictors of reading success.  This letter will introduce the letters s and h, the sound than corresponds with these letters when combined (sh), and the mouth movements for the combination of the two letters.

Materials:  Primary paper, pencil, chart with "Shelby and Shawn like to shuffle in their shiny shoes."; letterboxes for each student with small letters needed for the lesson; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (by: Dr. Seuss, Random House Books, © 1960); dry/erase board; marker


1.     “Today we are going to talk about the letters s and h.  We are going to practice these letters together.  Who knows what sound s makes?  What about h?  When we put those two letters together it makes a sound that is a little bit different.  This sound is ssshhhh.  Can everybody practice making that sound?  Very good.”

2.   “Remember how we sometimes use tongue twisters to help us remember sounds? Well, I have a new tongue twister for us to practice:  Shelby and Shawn like to shuffle in their shiny shoes.  Let’s all practice saying this together.  Very good. Now this time let’s all try to stretch the /sh/ at the beginning of the words.  SSShhelby and SSShhawn like to sshhuffle in their sshhiny sshhoes.  That was wonderful.  As we are going through our activities today, let’s remember /sh/ by remembering the shiny shoes.

3.   “We are now going to practice writing the letters s and h.  Everyone takeyou’re your paper and pencil.  I am going to make the letter s on the board.  Everyone watch me.  form a tiny c up in the air, and then swing back.  Now, I want you to try.  (Each student should attempt to write the letter s).  I will now going to make the letter h on the board.  Watch me.  I will start at the rooftop, come down, and hump over.  Now, you try it.  (Everybody should attempt to write the letter h).  Now I want everyone to practice each letter 3 times.  Once you have done this, put the s and the h together and write this combination 5 times.  Remember as you are writing what sound the s and the h put together makes.

4.   Now that we have completed that activity, I have a fun game I want us all to play. Each person has a set of letterboxes and letters on their desk.  We are going to use these letters to help us spell out a word according to its sounds.  I will show you what I mean.  The word I am going to model is ship.  I will first find the vowel for my word which is the i.  In this word, the letter i makes the /i/ sound.  I will then figure out what this word begins with.  I am thinking that sh-ip begins with /sh/.  I remember this because I remember sh and shiny shoes.  So, I have the sh and the i.  Now, I have to think about what this word ends with.  Let me think.  Sh-i-p.  I think this word ends with the letter p.  Sh-i-p.  This word is ship.”

5.    Each child will then practice the words:

 2 phonemes:  ash, she
       3 phonemes:  ship, shop, cash, fish, shell
       4 phonemes:  shift

The letters that will be used for this lesson will be: a, c, e, f, h, i, l, o, p, s, t

6.   “I am so proud of each of you for working so hard in your letterbox lessons.  I am now going to read the book One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.  While I am reading, I want you to raise your hand everytime you hear the sound /sh/.  When we are finished reading we will go back through the book and list these words on the board.”

7.    “The last activity we will do is drawing a picture.  I want each of you to draw a picture of an object that has the letters /sh/ in it.  For example I might draw some dirty ashes that are left in my fireplace after a fire.  When everyone is finished we will talk about how many /sh/ words we could think of and share our unique pictures with the class.”

8.   For assessment, use teacher observation as each child spells words in their letterbox lessons.  The main thing to look for is that the child is placing the s and the h in the appropriate places and knows what the letters s and h sound like when put together.  Also, check pictures and make sure each child’s picture correlates with a word that contains the /sh/ sound in it.



Success For All Reading Development Team.  Fast Track Phonics for RootsBaltimore, Maryland:  Success For All Foundation, 2002. pp. 84