I recently had a third grade group in which all of my students were working on the /sh/ sound. At first, I was relieved to plan a session all around one sound. When I looked closer, I realized my students were all at different “stages” in working on the sh sound. It was one of their first sessions working on the sh sound, another was working on it in the middle of words and the third was working on it in sentences. This is our job as SLPs, but it made me really brainstorm some ideas so that all of my students felt successful, challenged and most importantly, motivated. Here is my list of SH sound speech therapy activities from elicitation to conversation.
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SH Sound Speech Therapy Resources for Elicitation
First off, we need to elicit the SH sound all by itself. Here are some helpful resources for teaching the sh sound in speech therapy.
- Visit Mommy Speech Therapy where you can find tips for elicitation and picture words for the /sh/ sound.
- Watch this SH video from Peachie Speechie with your students. Hint: This can be helpful to share with teachers and caregivers to help promote carryover!
- The Marshall Guide has lots of tips for producing various sounds, including the SH sound!
- If you need visuals, word lists, and tips for eliciting the /sh/ sound, check out this Speech Sound Handbook from Peachie Speechie
- When working with students who have lateral lisps, peachie speechie has a helpful video as well as this lateral lisp blog post from Amy Graham.
SH Syllable and Word Speech Therapy Activities
Once I’ve elicited the sound in isolation, I’ll start working on the /sh/ sound in syllables and words. As all SLPs know, we continuously have to push our students to the next level so they’re making progress all while feeling successful and challenged. (Quite the balancing act)
- Try using my FREE articulation syllable practice sheet for sh syllable practice. Use dry-erase markers or post-it notes to practice SH at the syllable level.
- Try these SH word activities speech therapy digital folders to customize quick drill activities for your in-person and teletherapy sessions. These digital folders keep everything in one place between links to websites, YouTube videos, Google Slides, progress monitoring tools, and PDFs.
- If you’re using a minimal pairs approach for the SH sound, there are also stopping and cluster reduction digital folders.
- Check out these SH, CH, J Words activities flipbook and don’t forget to check out the NO print version.
Word Lists and Word Level Activities
- Use these SH word lists from Speech and Language at Home or another word list for SH from Home Speech Home.
- Incorporate Articulation station activities into your sessions along with SH with pipe cleaners.
- Play I Spy games, drill based activities, sensory bins and more with my SH speech word picture cards.
- For kids who need movement or games that are sound-loaded, Home Speech Home has some fun suggestions.
- Make an I Spy sensory bin with SH mini trinkets. You can also pair mini trinkets with the free SH sound mat printables.
- Pair your word lists with sound-loaded SH games to maximize your trials in a session.
Sound Loaded SH Phrases & Sentence Ideas
Now that your student has SH in words, get working on the sound in phrases and sentences!
- Make sound-loaded phrases with your students on paper that you can practice in the session and then take home for the weekly homework. For example, you can use the phrase “Let me show you the ____.” Then, students think of different words. They don’t have to have an /sh/ because the word your student will be working on is “show.” When using mixed groups, give them a category group to name items. Here are some more examples for sound loaded phrases:
- “She has a ___.”
- “I want to share the ___.”
- “We need to wash the ___.”
- “Add ___ to the shopping list.”
Sentence Level Articulation Ideas for the SH Sound
- If you do a theme-based approach, you can do this activity but use the theme’s vocabulary. See this IG for more details.
- Compare and contrast similar nouns that contain the sh sound. For example, goldfish and shark, or shovel and brush would be great SH words to compare. If you need pre-selected compare-and-contrast flashcards, check out the SH, CH, J articulation carryover set.
- Play a sentence articulation challenge game that keeps the student motivated to practice high trials in a short amount of time.
- Have your students create tongue twisters with your word lists that they can practice. You can even have them illustrate tongue twister to make a fun speech sound book. For example, you could use “Shelly shared shells at the shore” or “She shouldn’t wash dishes with a shovel.” ChatGPT would be a great way to get more SH tongue twisters quickly!
- You can make alliteration SH poems and then students can draw their poem.
- Play guessing games for secret words that only have the SH sound. Add in carrier phrases for people to use, like “You surely won’t guess this word! It is especially tricky,” or “You sure are correct,” or “You should guess again.”
Speech Therapy Crafts for the SH Sound
During your students’ journey up the ladder, it’s always fun to incorporate crafts so your students can decorate a bulletin board in your room or bring home a piece of work to share with their caregivers. Here are some craft ideas:
- Make speech sound wallets that they can store in their speech folders or use to practice at home.
- I love doing crafts with my students but I prefer something that’s quick and easy to prep. The paper plate challenge craft is just this for a SH sound speech therapy craft.
- Make some milkshake craft or a shape craft to use for practicing the SH sound.
- Have students decorate their own shirt, shorts, or shoes! Sketch the shape of their clothing item on paper, cut it out, and have them decorate. They can decorate with /sh/ words or more craft materials (stickers, bingo daubers, crayons, etc).
Articulation Games with the SH Sound
Most of our speech students are always asking to play a game when they come to speech. There are plenty of options for /sh/ sound games.
- There are so many games with natural opportunities for SH sound to help keep kids motivated.
- Play Pinball on Toy Theater and practice words like “Push,” “Shoot,” and “Shake.”
- On ABCYa, make a face and practice words or phrases like “She has…,” “Should I give the face…”
Where to Find SH Sound Loaded Stories
If your student is a reader, incorporate SH sound-loaded reading passages into your therapy sessions.
- Use this Free story from Ms. Lane’s SLP Materials.
- Try some fictional SH stories in the articulation carryover resource.
- On Wonderopolis, learn about
- If your student isn’t quite a reader, read these stories with them. Ask questions involving the SH sound. Ask them to share what details they remember or what facts they thought were the coolest!
SH Sound Conversation Activities
Once your student has shown consistent success for /sh/ in sentences (and reading or retell), time to focus on generalization of the sound in conversation. While having a conversation can seem like the most straightforward task, ensuring that your student uses /sh/ sounds in the speech therapy conversation activities can feel tricky. Here are some ideas:
- I linked this before, but make sure to check out my SH Sound conversation activities for some low-prep ideas.
- Find more sound-loaded non-fiction articles to read aloud. Discuss them afterward with your students. How much can they retell you? (There are non-fiction passages in the SH carryover activities.)
- Make sound loaded questions, or would you rather games.
- Make a game like “What should I do?” and make up silly scenarios that students have to explain what you “should” or “shouldn’t” do.
- Have students read the directions of a game, or read the cards while playing a game like Bubble Talk.
- Create a list of words that start with the SH sound (shopping, shark, dishes, washing, brush, flush) then have students make silly sentences or create a story trying to get the sound-loaded words in the story.
What Articulation Activities Do You Love to Plan for SH?
While we generally follow the same sequence of steps with sounds, it can be tricky to think of activities for each sound and each step. I hope these ideas help keep your students motivated and/or help you think of some more speech therapy SH sound activities. What else is in your SH sound toolkit? SHare with us on social media!