Sh! Be Quiet!

Beginning Reading Design
be quiet

Julie Mason




To learn to read and spell words, children must learn the digraphs that stand for specific mouth moves. Students must learn that a diagraph is a letter combination that makes one sound. The purpose of this lesson is to help children identify the letter combination sh. The children will learn to identify /sh/ when reading and writing words with the /sh/ diagraph by practicing spelling with a letterbox lesson and reading a decodable book.



For Teacher:

Dry Erase board and markers

Large letterboxes and letters or document camera to show letterboxes to class

For Students:

Letterboxes and letter tiles (s, h, o, p, f, i, u, t, r, e, c, a)

Individual copies of A Crash in the Shed by Geri Murray


Copy of worksheet (link in reference section)



  1. Sometimes two letters put together can make one sound. You will see these two letters together when you are reading and you'll need to use them when you are spelling. Today we are going to learn about two of these letters.
  2. The two letters we are learning about today are s and h. These are the letters s and h. (Write "sh" on the board.) Everyone get your letter tiles and make "s-h." These two letters make the /sh/ sound. Everyone say /sh/. That sounds like when someone wants you to be quiet and they say, "sshhh!" How does your mouth move when you say that? What are your teeth doing? Your teeth are together and the air is leaking out, right? Everyone say it again, /sh/.
  3. Okay, now let's try our tongue twister. I'll say it first then you say it with me. "Sally saw fish and shells at the seashore." Now say it with me. (Have class say it with me.) Great job! Let's see if we can find some words with the /sh/ sound. Do you hear /sh/ in sea or shell? Fish or fin? House or shack?
  4. Now let's try to spell some words with the /sh/ sound. Everyone open up three letterboxes. Let's see if we can spell "ship." Well, I hear /i/ in there like sticky, icky /i/ so I'm going to put an i in the middle. Okay, ship… sshhhip. There's the be quiet sound so I'm going to put s-h in the first box because they are only one sound. Okay, ship… shippp, that's a p! S-H-I-P. Ship. Now you try some. When you think you got it raise your hand and I will come check. (Have students spell shop, fish, and shut.) Now let's try some with four boxes. (Have them spell fresh and crash.) Awesome! Let's read them now. (Write words on board and read them together.)
  5. Now we are going to read a book by Geri Murray called A Crash in the Shed. This is a book about two kids named Jan and Tim who are going to go fishing. Jan wants to check on her shells and she hears a crash! Oh no I wonder what could have happened to make such a loud crash! Let's read and find out. Students will then read individually or with a partner.
  6. What were some words you read that have the /sh/ sound? (Make a list on the board. Words should include: fish, shelf, shed, ship, shells, dish, rush, flash, crash, shin, she, fresh, and wish.)
  7. For individual assessment have students complete worksheet. It requires them to read four words with the sh digraph and choose which one matches the picture.



Mandy Jones. Beginning Reading Lesson: Shhhhhh! Quiet Please!


Decodable book:

Geri Murray. A Crash in the Shed.


Assessment worksheet:

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