Shelly says "Shhh!"


Beginning Reading
Lora Haghighi 

Rationale:       In the journey towards becoming a skillful reader, students must understand that phonemes, (vocal gestures making up spoken words), are made up of graphemes, that can be made up of more than one letter. Two-letter graphemes are called digraphs. One of the most prevalent digraphs is /sh/. This digraph is a very strong sound and easily identifiable in spoken words. This lesson will focus on that digraph and help students to be able to identify this digraph in spoken and written words.

Materials:        Primary paper, pencils; tongue twister poster (Shelly should share her shells shouldn't she.), One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, By Dr. Seuss, Book worksheets [This packet has different pictures of words that start with /sh/ on each page. The student must identify the /sh/ word and write it in the provided space on each page. The worksheets make a book with pictures for the students to color one they have written the sh words].

 Procedures:     1. Introduce the lesson by reminding the class that words are made up of vocal gestures that change for different letters. Sometimes those vocal gestures can be made up of two letters that make one sound together. Today we are going to work on the phoneme /sh/. [Point to this phoneme written on the poster paper.] Think about what sound I make when I am trying to get the class quiet? "Sh!" Say that with me: "Sh!" Good Job! 

                     2. Ask students: When I think of sh I think of putting my finger over my lips like this. [Put pointer finger over your lips and say: sh!]. Every time we hear the sh sound, we are going to put our fingers over our lips like we are telling someone to be quiet.

3. Now I want you to read this poster with me: "Shelly should share her shells shouldn't she." Everyone say it once more with me. Now, we are all going to say it again, but this time we are going to draw out the /sh/ sound like we are telling someone to be quiet: "Shhhhelly shhhhhould shhhhare her shhhhells shhhhouldn't shhhhe." Good. This time, let's completely break the b off of the word: /Sh/ elly /sh/ ould /sh/ are her /sh/ells /sh/ ouldn't /sh/ e.

4. Now we are going to practice writing sh on our papers. Please take out your lined paper and a pencil. We have already learned how to write s and h by themselves, but they do not say /sh/ unless they are right beside each other. Watch me before you write on your paper. [Model writing sh.] Now, I want everyone to write sh on their paper. I am going to walk around and check. Once I have seen yours, I want you to write it 9 more times.

5. Now let's see if we can hear the /sh/ in some words. Do you hear the /sh/ in shrimp or sit? Shadow or sidewalk? Shampoo or conditioner?

6. Now we are going to read a book called One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss. This story is about many different types of fish doing many different types of things. Of course, this book is going to be very exciting, like all Dr. Seuss books are! Let's read to see what Dr. Seuss's silly fish are up to. As we are reading, I want you to think about the /sh/ sound when you hear or see it in a word. I want you each to try and remember three words with the /sh/ sound, besides the word fish. [Students should either have their own copies, be reading in pairs/groups, or be able to follow along on Powerpoint]. Follow along with me as I read the book aloud [Read Book].

7. Can you tell me any words you heard in that story that had the /sh/ sound? [Allow two or three students to share]. Good job.

8. Assessment: Pass out worksheet. Now I am going to give you a set of worksheets that are going to make a /sh/ book. You are going to write a different word that starts with sh on each page. When you are finished I want you to color your worksheets and then we will hang them up around the room.


Dr Seuss. The Butter Battle Book. Random House Books for Young Readers. 1960.

Enchanted Learning Search. Words That Start With Sh. (handout)

Hooper, Liz. "Shhhh…Somethings Fishy". Auburn University.

Burns, Vickie. "Shhh! I’m hunting Wabbits." Auburn University.

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