When kids learn the sh digraph, they learn that chunks of letters can make one sound. This is a big step. Beginning readers focus on letter sounds, with an emphasis on short vowels. They read words like dog, cat, red, mom…etc. After learning the sh digraph kids begin to see that one letter does not always correspond to one sound. The attached butterfly sh digraph game will help kids practice reading sh words.
Scroll down for the free printable sh digraph game. Your student can read sh words and color butterflies.
Sh digraph game word practice
The sh digraph game creates good sound-by-sound reading habits. Not all of the words in the game are sh words. This is crucial. If all the words contained the sh sound, kids would simply guess. Since there is some variation—some words have sh and others don’t—kids must analyze each phoneme. Can your student identify which words have sh and which words don’t?
Also, the sh digraph game allows beginning readers to feel successful. In sum, kids can practice their old skills. At this point, kids have read 3-letter short vowel words like bat, Sam, run…etc. Just because they can read these word types, does not mean they should cease to study them. On the contrary. In sum, they need to review 3-letter short vowel words. Weave old word types into new lessons.
Selecting phonics books
Just because a child learns a new sound, does not mean they are ready for new books. If a student learns the sh digraph wait to introduce sh books. Many kids still read short vowel books as they master the sh digraph.
Introduce the sh digraph in a simple lesson. Show the student some examples of sh words. Write simple sentences like the following:
Shell had fish.
Pam has a big ship
Read each word sound-by-sound. Then blend each word. Hold all continuous sounds. Hold the sh digraph longer than the other continuous sounds. Write sh on a sound card. Practice the sh sound card with short vowel sound cards: a_, e_, i_, o_, u_. Mix up the sound cards so your student doesn’t memorize the order.
After one simple introduction, your child might be ready for sh books. However, wait until she is ready. Don’t let her fail. If her accuracy is too low, read short vowel books a bit longer. Try the sh book again in a few days. When she reads, remind her that we read sound-by-sound.
Discover sh books in our printable phonics books shop.
Correcting sh digraph miscues
If she makes an error on a sh word, isolate the sh digraph. Say the sound. Then have the student repeat the sound. Your interaction should look something like this:
STUDENT: win [the word is wish]
TEACHER: [Teacher underlines the sh digraph: wish. BUT HE DOES NOT SAY THE WORD] Sound?
TEACHER: Read from the beginning.
Sh Digraph Game & Coloring Butterflies
In the free printable sh digraph game, kids read all the words sound-by-sound. Then, they color the butterflies. Click the following link and you’ll have a printable pdf:
I hope your student has fun reading and coloring!