Sh – ee – p

J: Ssh … ssh … [he holds his finger to his lips]

N: Why do we have to be quiet?

Sue: Because we don’t want to wake the monster that lives under the ground. That’s our game. We’re playing together.

N: Can I join in? I love playing games.

J and Sue: Sure!

E: [coming over from the other side of the playground] Look! There are some sheep in the field over there! Can we go and play with them?

J & N: [fingers to lips] Ssh, you’ll wake the monster!

Sue: And you might scare the sheep away too.

[The early years setting is very rural. There are animals everywhere.]

A: [joining them] Shall we go and see them? The sheep?

Sue: That’s a great idea. Hey everyone, can you hear that ‘sh’ sound we keep making? Remember? That’s our sound this week. Shall we see how many times we can spot it? [everyone nods] We could count the sheep too, if you like?

E: That’s the best way to fall asleep. [they all laugh]

A: Then afterwards we can go inside and find lots of ‘sh’ toys. Sharks!

E: And shields!

N: And shells!

J: On the seashore!

Sue: Sure thing. [they all high five] We could write some of them down in our explorer’s notebooks, if you like?

A: Hey, that’s another ‘sh’ sound. Sure.

Sue: Let’s talk about that ‘sh’ another time …

[They head off to count the sheep.]

This entry was posted in Children, Early Years, Play. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sh – ee – p

  1. Tim Taylor says:

    I like this Sue.

    Here’s another example I used in a reception class on Weds.

    The children have just watched a BBC online program about the letter K. We discussed the sound, the children have come up with different words using K.

    The lesson is about 15 minutes old and some are beginning to get restless and lose focus.

    I reach into a bag, prepared by the teacher, with a K on and pull out a key. Holding it up I look at the children. One of them says, “a key”. I write it in the board.

    “This is the key to a castle in a story. Have a look in your bag (I model looking into an imaginary bag) and see if you have a key.”

    They follow my lead.

    “We’ll need to stand up to reach the key hole….” Etc

    This is the key to a king’s castle. A king whose twins, Kim and Kevin, have been kidnapped by… (The children decided the rest)… A wicked witch (of course), who lived in a castle on a storm cloud in the sky.

    The children agreed to enter the fiction as a team of rescuers and spent the morning planning and rescuing the twins and learning about a witch who, they decided, was lonely.

    15 – 20 mins is about as much most young children can spend sitting on a carpet practicing letter sounds. After that we need to be inventive.


  2. Pingback: How (NOT) to Learn through Play | Freeing the Angel

  3. Onlyamanatee says:

    Yes! So much more valuable for them to ‘find it themselves’. Otherwise they’re in danger of being just passive recipients. It seems to me the best teachers in the long run are the ones who teach you how to find things for yourself. The ones who plan for their own future obsolescence 😉

    I do feel that a vocabulary of ‘achievement’, as in the Ofsted video, is a bit misleading for little ones, too. Concepts of exploration, discovery, and awakening/nurturing curiosity describe progress & aims more accurately. NB I know you know – I’m just venting 🙂


  4. Onlyamanatee says:

    Reblogged this on Miscellaneous Witterings and commented:
    A small but pertinent post about the importance of children’s imaginative and aural engagement with the sounds they are learning.


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