"Shhh, Be Quiet!"


Beginning Reading

By: Lindsey Barber

Rationale: This lesson teaches children about the consonant digraph correspondence sh=/sh/. In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. In this lesson children will learn to recognize, spell, and read words containing the spelling sh. They will learn a meaningful representation (face with its finger to its lips) spell and read words containing this spelling in a letterbox lesson, and read a decodable book that focuses on the correspondence sh=/sh/.

Materials: Graphic image of a face with its finger to its lips; cover-up critter; whiteboard or smartboard Elkonin boxes for modeling and individual Elkonin boxes for each student; letter manipulatives for each child and magnetic or smartboard letters for teacher: s, h, i, p, e, d, o, t, w, r, a, f, u, n, k; list of spelling words on poster or whiteboard to read: she, dish, shot, wish, trash, shift, shrunk; decodable text Shells Are Fun and assessment worsksheet.


1. Say: In order to become expert readers we need to learn the code that tells us how to pronounce words. We have already learned to read the consonants s and h and today we are going to learn how to put those letters together to make the /sh/ sound. When I say /sh/ I think of someone putting their finger to their lips and saying "Shhh, be quiet!" [show graphic image] Now let's look at the spelling of /sh/ that we'll learn today. One way to spell /sh/ is with the letter s and the letter h. [Write sh on the board.]

2. Say: Before we learn about the spelling of /sh/, we need to listen for it in some words. When I listen for /sh/ in words, I think about the saying "Shhh, be quiet!" and I felt my teeth come together, my lips come apart, and I felt air blowing out of my mouth. [demonstrate what your mouth looks like] I'll show you first: shop. I heard sh and I felt my teeth come together and my lips come apart. Now you try, can you hear sh in fish? If you hear it, I want you to put your index finger on your mouth like your saying "Shhh!" Is it in chop, cash, gas, ship, flash? [Have the children put their index finger to their lips if they hear /sh/]

3. What if I want to spell the word ship? "It is time to board the ship." To spell the word ship in the letter boxes, first I need to know how many phonemes are in the word. I am going to stretch it out and count them: /sh/ /i/ /p/. I need 3 boxes. /Sh/ is a digraph and that means that they make one sound, so I am going to put the s and h in the first box together. Next I heard an /i/ so I am going to put an i in the second box. Finally, the last sound I heard was a /p/ so I am going to put a p in the last box. There, I have spelled the word ship. Now I will show you how I would read a tough word. [Display poster with shake and model reading the word.] I'm going to start with the /sh/. We know that these two letters make one sound so I am going to put them in the first box. Next, I hear the sound /A/ so I am going to put an a in the second box. Finally, I hear a /k/, so I put a k in the last box. Now this part is a little tricky, there is an e at the end but it is silent, so I am going to put it outside of the last box. Now I am going to read the word, /shA-k/. Oh, shake, like "I like to shake the pom-pom."

4. Say: Now I'm going to have you spell some words in letterboxes. You'll start out easy with two boxes for she. "She went to the store." Remember that sh goes into one box because they make one sound. I'll check your spelling as I walk around the room. [Observe progress] You'll need three letterboxes for the next word, dish. "The dish had flowers on it." [Allow children to spell remaining words, giving sentences for each word: shot, wish, trash, shift, shrunk.]

5. Say: Now I'm going to let you read the words you spelled. [Show the words she, dish, shot, wish, trash, shift, shrunk. Have the students read the words in unison. Afterwards, call on individual students to say the words by themselves.]

6. Say: Now we are going to read a book called Shells Are Fun. It is about finding shells at the beach and how it is so much fun. You will have to read the book to find out why it is so much fun! Now I would like you to partner up and take turns reading the book to each other. I want you to listen for all the /sh/ words you hear. [The teacher walks around the room monitoring progress. After individual paired reading, the class rereads Shells Are Fun and points out all of the /sh/ words and talks about the story.]

7. Say: Before we finish up on our lesson about one way to spell sh=/sh/, I want to see how well you can pick out words with /sh/ in them. On this worksheet, it asks you to color the words that begin with /sh/ and end in /sh/. Make sure you look at each word carefully and check your work when you are done. [Collect worksheets to evaluate individual child progess.]



Noie, Yancey. Oh, Oh, My Knee Hurts:  http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/invitations/yanceybr.htm

Ghannam, I. (n.d.) Shells Are Fun. Reading Genie: http://www.auburn.edu/academic/education/reading_genie/teacherbooks.html

Assessment Worksheet: http://www.funfonix.com/worksheets/book2_page27.php

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