Shhh…I See a Fish!

Beginning Literacy

Shelley Steiner


Rationale: After students learn to pronounce and read words with vowels the next step is to work with diagraphs. A child must know how to pronounce diagraphs so decoding will come more easily. The lesson will start with a class review long and short vowels (phoneme gestures), then a reminder of the last diagraph focused on ch = /ch/ (like an old train), and then focus on the sh =/sh/ correspondence. The students will learn to read, spell, and hear words with the /sh/ vocal gesture.


A Crash in the Shed by Geri Murray (copies for teacher and students)



Chart paper with tounge twister on it

Letter squares (a, c, e, f, h, i, o, p, r, s, t) *for each student

Letter boxes (a set of 2 and 6 for each student)

Cut out of Mr. Shiny (the smiley face clip art)

See attached worksheets


Welcome to more adventures on phonemes everybody! Today we are going to continue talking about phonemes. Can anyone remind me what a phoneme is? (A vocal gesture.) Right. How about when they (phonemes) are together… we call them a digraph. Di means two and (in this case) graph is a letter or combination of letters. So digraph means two letters!  

So, what if you heard a train (making the sound we last learned) coming down the tracks, "Chhh, Chhh, Chhh!" and you knew that your mom was sleeping and did not want to be disturb…what will you do? (Any ideas?) Let’s see if we can all close our eyes and softly say, "Shhh." Say that with me, shhh. Good! Now what is your mouth doing when you make the /sh/ sound? (Lips make a loose kissy or fish face and air slips out between the teeth.)

Okay, now I am going to show you a picture to help you remember our new phoneme. Here it is! (hold up picture of the smiley face.) What is he doing? He is saying, "shhhh." Like when you tell someone to be quiet, right? Shhh. Put your finger over your mouth like our model, Mr. Shiny (hold up poster picture and also model the pose) shhh.

Now it is time for our tongue twister! Here it is! (Show the chart paper with tongue twister: Shells on the shore show fish how to wish for a shooting splash.) Say it with me this time. Okay, now whenever you hear that shhh I want you to put your finger over your lips like Mr. Shiny and pull out your best shhh.

I want everyone to listen very closely now. I am going to say some words and I want you to tell me which one you hear shhh in. Let me tell you what I mean, if the words were lash or brow, I would think to myself, lash, brow. Lash has that shhh sound, right? Okay, let's get started. (Words: fish or dog, trash or garbage, pan or dish, sink or shower?)

Everyone get your letterboxes out of your phoneme kit. We are going to do a letterbox activity now. I want you to make your boxes so that there are 3 boxes. Who can tell me what the boxes stand for? (Phonemes in the word.) If I were going to spell the word "crash" I would do it like this: /c/, /r/, /cr/, /a/, /cra/, /crash/…crash… yes, crash! Spell the words as I say them. (3 phoneme words: fish, rash, shop) Now make 4 boxes. (4 phoneme words: trash, crash ‘like above’, fresh)  ***letters needed for each student = a, c, e, f, h, i, o, p, r, s, t)

Now I will pass a new book and worksheet to each student. Our new book is called The Crash in the Shed.

Booktalk: Jan and Tim are trying to decide if they want to fish or look for shells one day. They could not pick one so they decided to do both. When they walked over to the shed to get their tools for fishing and searching for shells, their cat, Elf, jumps up and causes a huge crash! I wonder what is going to happen then? I want you all to read the book to yourself at your desk silently. Make sure you read because I am going to call each of you one at a time up to my desk to read to me.

Assessment: Each student will complete a worksheet by selecting from a few pairs of pictures and circling those with /sh/ in the picture’s name. *attached*


Reading Genie Website: ("Shhh... I am trying to sleep" by Larkin Ade)

·         Genie Book in PowerPoint:, The Crash in the Shed by Geri Murray

·         Reading Genie Website:  ("Shhh! I heard a crash!")


WORKSHEET: CIRCLE the names of each picture (a word) that has the diagraph, sh.