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Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I love dropping my kids off at library because I get to see a quick showcase of books I’ve never seen before.  Today, this book caught my eye.  I was thinking of word families and words that begin with similar sounds.  SHEEP and SHIP jumped right out at me!  This book is PERFECT for all those Pre-School kids out there!

Again, here are activities based on your child’s progress along the phonological awareness spectrum

LISTENING - This book does a wonderful job of matching text to print.  Just about every sentence has a corresponding picture.  When you read a sentence, have your child point to the picture of that.  For example, when you read “sheep read a map” or “sheep slip” have your child point to the picture of the sheep actually doing that.

RHYMING - This book is FULL of rhyming words.  As you read them, see if your child can identify the other words that rhyme with: SHIP, LAP, FORM, HAILS, SLIDE, RAFT, LIFTS, GO

WORDS/SENTENCES - My kids love using pointers when reading.  By pointers, I mean anything small enough to be used to point to words on a page.  Find the page “Sheep read a map but begin to nap.”  Read it over several times with your child so he/she can memorize it.  See if your child can point to each word using the pointer after you demonstrate.

SYLLABLES - Ever heard of the jaw trick?  I almost forgot about it until someone at lunch today mentioned it.  Place your hand flat-out under your chin.  Try saying the word SHIP.  Did you notice how your jaw/hand only moved once (1 syllable).  Now try the word SAILBOAT.  You should’ve felt your jaw/hand move twice (2 syllables).  Have your child do that comparing these words: COLLIDE vs. SLIDE, SAILING vs. SHEEP and BEGIN vs. BUT

PHONEMES - See if your child can find the difference between these words.  Make sure you are SAYING them, not writing them: LAP/FLAP (beginning phoneme-f), SHEEP/SHIP (middle phoneme e/i), MAP/NAP (beginning phonemes), HAILS/SAILS/RAILS (beginning again), TIP/TRIP (middle phoneme-r).  Finding the difference between middle phonemes is probably the hardest, so attempt that last!

INITIAL/FINAL SOUNDS - Find all the words that begin with S and W.  Make sure your child is looking at the words rather than listening.  Can you find words that start with the SH sound?

LETTERS/SPELLING - Use the above list of words to compare and contrast, but use letter tiles.  Or, you can print these out .  Show how you can change LAP to FLAP by adding F, or MAP to NAP by switching the beginning sounds.  I would stay away from the SHEEP/SHIP for now because of the double e pattern in sheep.

Looking for an ending activity?  See if your child can continue the story.  Have him/her tell you what the sheep will do now!  Or, have your child make a sheep using cotton balls and draw one of his/her favorite scenes from the story!


  1. Thanks for stopping by A Year of Reading! You've got a lot of great stuff going on here for the younger crowd! And Nancy Shaw's Sheep books? Great for struggling readers and/or ESL students in my fourth grade classroom! I have them all and love them all!

  2. Thank you! I will continue to check her out. Any ideas for other great books that lend themselves towards younger kids? I'm always trying to find books with certain spelling features for my kids (Bossy R's, Long A patterns, etc.). I know the website has some Decodables, but do you know of any others?