Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Lower Elementary
Lesson Plan
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
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Intro to digraph sh

Intro to digraph sh


Students learn to recognize the digraph sh (it's sound and it's spelling) while learning to read words with the sound.

"Image created by Staci James"


This lesson will introduce the sh digraph to students.  They will learn to recgnize the /sh/ sound, how to correctly produce the /sh/ sound, how to spell it when writing, and accurately read words with sh. 


This will be face to face learning and can be done all in one day or broken up into smaller lessons over a few days.


Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson, you will need an understanding of how to produce the /sh/ sound correctly.

This  /SH/ Video is very helpful.


Materials needed:

Picture book "Sh, We Have a Plan"  by Chris Haughton (or you can watch it here)

Sound bag:  backpack or othe bag filled 7-10  with items that have the /sh/ sound (fish, shark, shampoo, dish, cash, etc)

/sh/ decodable passage


Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

Step 1 Goals and Outcomes


Learning Intentions:

  • Students will be able to
    • recognize the sound /sh/ in spoken words. 
    • correctly produce the /sh/ sound
    • recognize the spelling of the /sh/ sound for reading and writing

Success Criteria:

  • Students will regognize and read words with /sh/ correctly

Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Step 2 Planning Instruction

Student Background Knowledge

  • Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of sounds in words and that those sounds can be spelled with one or more letters.  Students should have a basic understanding of what a dirgraph is.  To activate that prior knowledge, show this video.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

This lesson will include a variety of hands on, multimedia, visual, and auditory activities to engage diverse learners.

Step 3 - Instruction

Step 3 Instruction

  • Activate prior knowledge about digraphs with this video.
  • Discuss with class, the definition of a digraph "a combination of two letters representing one sound" and have them share the digraph sounds they have learned and remember.  Write the digraphs on the board
  • Sound bag 
    • Show the class the sound bag and tell them that they are going to play a game of "guess that sound" and that they should listen for the sound that all of the items in the bag have in common.  When they think they recognize the sound, they could put their hands on their head or raise their hand, but they should NOT shout out the sound.
    • allow one student at a time to pick an item from the sound bag, name it, and show it to the rest of the class.  Continue until all items have been picked from the bag.
    • Ask the class if they know what sound the items all have in common.  Allow multiple students to share their answer and how they know
  • Demonstrate for the class, the correct way to form and pronounce the /sh/ sound.  Write SH on the board and explain that /sh/ is spelled with the letters s and h and it is a digraph.
  • Read "Sh, We have a Plan" or watch it hereand have the students jump everytime they hear the /sh/ sound.  Pause after each /sh/ sound and have them repeat the spelling (s-h spells /sh/) and draw it in the air with their hands or on the carpet with their fingers.
  • Highlight and read an /sh/ deocable passage. (Links to free passge options below)
    • Demonstrate how to look for words with the /sh/ sound by starting in the title and the first line of the text.  Show students how to look at every word to determine if it has the drigraph.  If it does, then highlight it.
    • Give each student a passage and a highlighter
    • Have students highlight all of the words in the rest of the passage with the digraph sh
    • Have students read just the highlighted words
    • Have students read the whole passage 1-2 more times
  • Other resources:






Step 4 - Assessments

Step 4 Assessments

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the digraph /sh/ (recognizing it and reading it) by highlighting a passage and reading it aloud.  Students will monitor their own understanding during the activity while the teacher listens in to students reading and conferences with them individually.  The teacher can also review the passage highlighting to see if students recognize the print of /sh/.  Use the attached rubric to determine mastery.