Beginning Reading Design: 

Kincey Hicks


Rationale: I would use this lesson in the classroom to help students learn to recognize that when you put certain letters together, they make unique sounds in one mouth movement.  This particular lesson focuses on the digraph /sh/. The lesson is designed to help students learn to read, write, spell and speak words that contain the digraph /sh/.

Chart paper with the tongue twister: "Shelly‘s aunt, Sharon shears sheep" on it

Class set of the book by Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Class set of Elkonin boxes, with the letters (a, b, c, e, f, h, i, l, p, r, s, and u.)

Primary paper and pencils for each student
Work sheet with pictures on one side and on the other side a blank for them to write the
  word that would match the picture.  Words can include ship, sheep, shed, shin, rash,
  mush, and push.

1. Ask students, “When your mom wants you to be quiet what does she tell you? "Shhh!" Ask them to put their hand in front of their mouth as they repeat the sound. Ask them what they feel. "Air." Tell them:  That’s right! The /sh/ sound is made by putting your teeth together and pushing the air out of your mouth. Ask if they know what letters go together to make the /sh/ sound? "An S and an H." Tell them that when you see these letters together in a word, they make that special sound.  This sound is called a digraph.

2. Tell students: I am going to say a sentence, listen hard for words that have /sh/ in them. Shelly‘s aunt, Sharon shears sheep.  Now let's repeat that sentence a few times together. Raise your hand if you hear the /sh/ sound in that sentence? Good, now lets say it, but make the /sh/ sound longer each time we hear it in the sentence. Shhhhhhelly‘s aunt, Shhhhhhharon shhhhhhhears shhhhhhheep? How many times do you hear the /sh/ sound in that tongue twister? “4.”

3. Now that we  know that /sh/ is made from the letters S and H, can anyone think of any words that were not in our sentence that have that sound in them? Get out your paper and pencil and write as many words that you can think of. (You can have several of the students share their words and discuss them with the class.) 

4. After a quick discussion, you can begin the letterbox lesson. Have everyone get out their Elkonin boxes and letters for the lesson.  Tell them, “I would like everyone to start by spelling she with their letters, like this [model]. (Continue with 2 phoneme: she, 3 phoneme:  ship, shell,  fish, cash, 4 phoneme:  flesh, brush, flush.)

5. After the kids have spelled all the words, use your own letters to spell the words on the overhead and have them read them as a class after modeling once.  

6. Tell them: “We are now going to read One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss,” and ask if any of the students have ever read this book? Give the students a short book talk and then pass out the class set. Send the children into their reading groups and take turns reading pages. This is a good review, because the children will practice reading /sh/ in a hands-on fashion.

Assessment: Give the students the worksheets and explain directions.  They are to identify the pictures by writing the name of the picture across from it.  Since some pictures may be difficult for them to decipher, you can give assistance in coming up with the correct names.

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