Show Shadow Shapes

Show Shadow Shapes
Target text


Recognize and produce the /sh/ sound in series of words that all begin with /sh/.

See Standards

Lesson Plan

Target Words:

  • show
  • shoe
  • sheep
  • shine
  • shapes
  • shadow


  • Flashlight or overhead projector
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Plastic wrap
  • Rubber band or tape
  • Shapes (print two sets)*

*Items included below

State and Model the Objective
Tell the children that they will play with shadows and shapes as they listen for words that start with the /sh/ sound, such as shell, ship, shower, and shampoo.

Literacy Activities
Shine a light to make shadow shapes 

  • Cut out each set of /sh/ shapes, spread one set on a table, and help the children identify the shapes while you emphasize the /sh/ sound.
  • Explain to the children that they will be looking for shadows of shapes that start with the /sh/ sound, as in shark.
  • Show the shadows of the other set of shapes on a wall or screen by:
    • Holding cutout shapes in front of a flashlight
    • Placing them on an overhead projector
    • Holding them in front of a computer camera lens for online teaching
  • Have the children look at the shape and guess which shape on the table is making the shadow.
  • When they find the correct shape, have them shout out the name of the shape.
  • Invite the children to take turns displaying a /sh/ shape as the rest of the children guess.
  • Review the /sh/ shapes with the children, emphasizing the /sh/ sound (e.g., sh sh sh shoe). 

Shine a "/sh/ finder"

  • Make “/sh/ finders” for or with the children: 
    • Trace around a toilet paper tube on the plastic wrap, then write “sh” with a permanent marker in the circle you made.
    • Center the toilet paper tube over the letters, then gently lift the plastic wrap edges up around the tube.
    • Rubber band or tape the plastic wrap to the tube and check that you can see the “sh” through the tube.
  • Mix all of the shapes (see below) together and display them on a wall, table, or one by one on a computer screen.
  • Help the children identify all of the shapes, pointing out which ones start with /sh/.
  • Show each of the shapes again, letting the children aim their /sh/ finders at the shapes that start with /sh/ as they shout the /sh/ shape names.

More Practice

Blend sounds into words 

  • Have the children blend word parts into whole words by tapping their heads when they say the beginning /sh/ sound, then touching their toes when they say the ending, and finally clapping once when they say the whole word together. 
    • For example: sh (tap head) + ip (tap toes) = ship (clap hands) 
      • sh + eep = sheep 
      • sh + op = shop 
      • sh + ell = shell
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