Shine Those Shades!

Emergent Literacy Design

Morgan Spires


Rationale:  Students need to recognize and understand the value of phonemes to be able to apply them to their reading.  This lesson covers h=/h/ by using “hhhhhhh…shine those shades!” (polishing sunglasses by breathing on them and wiping them off).  Students will identify letter symbols and phonemes and create the letter h.


Materials:  primary paper, pencil, picture page with h words on it (hand, head, hide, hammer, crayon, hippo, hill, hamburger, slide, harp, heart, apple, and hat), sunglasses, Horton Hears a Who by Dr. Seuss (c 1954)



1.  Introduce the lesson and explain the importance and purpose of letters in our language.  Explain that this lesson focuses on the letter h and the sound “hhhhhh.”

2.  “Have you ever gotten anything on your favorite pair of sunglasses?  If you get fingerprints or dirt on your shades you have got to get it off, and the best way is to breathe on them like this ‘hhhhh’ and wipe them off.  That /h/ is the sound of the letter h that we will be using today.  Can you make that sound?”

3.  “We are going to shine our shades and try a new tongue-twister, so repeat after me:  Harry hit Hanna with his hairy hippo hat.  Now let’s all repeat that three times so we can remember it.  Now, let’s say it again, but we’ll stretch out the /h/ at the beginning of the words.  Hhharry hhhit Hhhanna with hhhis hhhairy hhhippo hhhat.  Now, let’s try it one more time and break the /h/ off of the word.  /h/arry /h/it /h/anna with /h/is /h/airy /h/ippo /h/at.  Excellent.” 

4.  Students will take out primary paper and pencil to practice creating the symbol h.  “Today we will use h to spell /h/.  Let’s write it by beginning at the roof, bringing our line straight down to the sidewalk, and bouncing back up to the fence and curving back down to the sidewalk.  Let’s all try it on our paper.  I would like to see more.”

5.  “Now I am going to show you how to find /h/ in the word happy.  First I will stretch it out and listen for the /h/.  Hhhhhhaaaaaappppppppyyyyyy.  Do you hear it?  Hhhhhhaaaaaappppppppyyyyyy.  I hear it!”

6.  “One day Horton the elephant hears something.  Eventually he decides the voices are coming from a little speck of dust.  He is determined to find the people who live on this speck, even though no one believes him.  Does Horton prove his findings to everyone?  Let’s find out.  As I read Horton Hears a Who, I would like each of you to listen for the /h/ in our story.  Anytime you hear a /h/ I want you to shine those shades!”

7.  Assessment:  Let’s look at the pictures on our paper.  Can you shine your shades when you identify any of the pictures?  Circle the pictures in which you can find the /h/.


Kristie Fitzgerald, Spring 2006:  Play Ball Y’all!

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