Shadow Shapes


Associate the letters sh with the /sh/ sound (e.g., shape, shark, shine).

Lesson Plan

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Target Words:

  • shadow
  • shape
  • shine
  • ship
  • shirt
  • shark
  • shoe


  • Flashlight or overhead projector
  • Shape cards (see below)
  • Bag to hold the shapes
  • T-Chart labeled “sh” and “not sh”
  • Shoe shape (see below)
  • Sh letter cards (see below)

State and model the objective

Tell the children they will make shadows with shapes as they practice writing sh and saying the /sh/ sound: shine, ship, shark.

Practice the skill within an activity

Make the shapes into shadows

  • Before the activity, cut out the individual shapes and tape the name of the shape on the back of the shape so it is hidden.
  • Write the letters sh on a whiteboard (emphasizing that the two letters together make the /sh/ sound) and show the children that shape and shadow start with the letters sh.
  • Put shapes into a bag, and have the children choose a shape out of the bag one at a time.
  • Tell the children to hold the shape in front of a flashlight or place it on an overhead projector to make a shadow on the wall.
  • Ask the children, “What shape is this shadow?”
  • Have the children name the shape of the shadow (e.g.; The shadow is the shape of a ship).
  • Help the children read the label on the object to check their answer.
  • After you make the shadow, tape the shape in the appropriate column of the T-Chart
    • If the name of the shape starts with the /sh/ sound, tape the shape in the "sh" column
    • If the name of the shape does not start with /sh/, then tape the shape in the "not sh" column.
  • Have children take turns shining the light to make different shadow shapes.

Draw sh shapes

  • Hold up a shape of an object that starts with sh (see graphics below) and have everyone say the name of the shape.
  • Have the children draw the shape on paper or on whiteboards.
  • Tell the children to write the letters sh inside each shape.
  • Have the children point to the letters sh inside each shape while saying /sh/.

Apply the skill (choose from the following)

Make a shoe shape with sh letters

  • Have the children place sh letter cards (see below) along the outline of the shoe shape (see below).
  • Have the children say the /sh/ sound as they place the sh letter cards along the dotted lines of the shape design.
  • Once the children have finished outlining the shape design with letter cards have them name the shape (shoe).

Write and read the target letter (see below)

  • Review the T-Chart on the board.
  • Write a few sentences about the shadow shapes you made (e.g.; We made a shadow the shape of a sh____) that start with sh.
  • Have the children help you by writing the initial /sh/ sound in each word.
  • Read the text chorally or as a group.


SEEL At Home

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Associate the letters sh with the /sh/ sound (e.g., shape, ship, sheep).


  • Shape cards (see below)
  • Flashlight or lamp

Activity: Shadow Shapes

  • Cut out the shape outlines (see below).
  • Choose a shape, then identify the shape with your child, and decide if the shape starts with the /sh/ sound.
    • If the shape starts with the /sh/ sound, put the shape in front of the flashlight (lamplight may also be used) to make a shadow.
    • If the shape does not start with the /sh/ sound, put the shape off to the side.
  • Help your child make a book by folding two pieces of paper and stapling the folded edges, then write My Shadow Shape Book on the front.
  • Have your child draw around the /sh/ pictures on the inside pages, color them in a solid color and help him/her write the name of the shape underneath each one.
  • Read the book together. Have your child point to the letters sh in the name of each shape and say the /sh/ sound.
  • The activity can be repeated several times.



See More

1. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.1.D: Recognize and name all upper and lower case letters in the alphabet.
2. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.K.3.A: Demonstrate basic knowledge of one-to-one letter-sound correspondences by producing the primary sound or many of the most frequent sounds for each consonant.