Learning outcomes

You will be able to:

  • decode and read words with the ‘sh’ phonetic sound

You will need (per class)

  • 1 x shallow Gratnells Tray (F1) with a lid
  • Sand
  • 20 x Shells (quantity depends on how many words you want to focus on)


  • Choose the words to write onto the shells.
  • Using a permanent pen, write on each of the words carefully.
  • Leave shells to dry for a few minutes.
  • Fill the Gratnells tray with sand and place shells inside.

What to do:

  • Ensure that all the shells are covered by the sand.
  • Explain to the children that they need to find the shells.
  • When they find one, they need to read the word correctly.
  • After the child has read the word, they put it to one side.
  • The child with the most correctly read words at the end is the winner.

Other things to try…

  • You could include a range of other phonetic sounds as you wish
  • How many words can the children remember with the ‘sh’ sound?

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