Stephanie McCoy
Beginning Reading

Choo ­ Choo !!!

Rational:  To learn to read and spell words, children must understand the correspondence between chunks of letters and their pronunciation.  A digraph describes a group of letters that produce a single sound.  This lesson will help children identify ch, one of the consonant digraphs in our written and spoken language.  Upon completion of this lesson, children will learn to recognize ch in spoken words by learning to associate a specific sound with the consonant digraph, the sound in words and combine this digraph to already known word to produce a new word.

Materials:  train cutout with the following tongue twister on it "Charlie the chicken chose to chop his cheese", personal blackboard and chalk for each student, individual copies of "A Peach for Chad" by Anna Cimochowski (Steck—Vaughn Company), 2 copies of the assessment worksheet per student (step #9), stopwatch, large board with marker or chalk.

Procedure: 1. Begin the lesson by stating, "Even though writing messages may be confusing, once we continue to learn all about our written and spoken language, we can write many messages of increasing difficulty without delay.  Today we will start by continuing to learn about different digraphs.  We will focus on the ch combination today and by the end of the lesson, we will be able to locate the ch sound whenever it crosses our path."
2. Write the words chat, chop, and chill on the chalkboard.  Underline the letters ch in each of the words and say, "Notice that each word I have written on the board begin with the same two letters, c and h, which make a single sound.  Listen carefully as I read these words."  Read each word slowly and emphasize the /ch/ sound while pointing to the digraph/
3. Ask students, "What sound does a train make as it passes by?"  Most likely students will make the choo-choo sound.  (If not, suggest the sound.)  "Let’s try it together, ringing our bell with our hand and pulling down while making the sound of a train.  Inform them that when you make the sound of a train, you are producing the sound that is the result of combing a c and an h.
4. Hold up the train cutout with the tongue twister.  Tell students, "Repeat this motion whenever you hear this sound, as I point to each word, in the following tongue twister: (Say sentence extremely slowly.)  Charlie the chicken chose to chop his cheese."  After everyone is able to correctly identify the sound in each of the words, have children say the sentence in unison, using the hand motion.  "Everyone did just fantastic!"
5. Have students take out personal blackboards and chalk.  Write the word art on the board and say, "Everyone, write the word art in the middle of the first line.  Now think of how we can change the word art to spell chart by writing your answer down on your chalkboard and turning it over when you are through."  Have everyone hold up their chalkboard and scan the room for needed assistance.  Repeat this process with at-chat, ill-chill, in-chin, and arm-charm.
6. 6. Pass out personal copies of "A Peach for Chad".  Introduce the story by stating, "Chad tries to feed a chimp, Chet, peaches by tossing them into the cage.  Then Chet thinks Chad is playing a game…"  Announce, "Everyone copy down each word that contains the c-h combination as you come across it while reading the story."  When all students have read their story, have them make up a sentence or message of their own using at least three of the words containing the addressed digraph.  Remind them to write their sentence on their chalkboard.
7. Have students get in groups of five and take turns reading their sentence to their peers.
8. There is an individual assessment, given orally, for recognizing the correlation between the grapheme and the phoneme, ch=/ch/.  Write the student’s name on one test and keep this copy for scoring.  Give the student the identical copy of the test.  Ask students to perform the following: "Look at the words on the test."  Give them a few seconds to look at the words.  "They are not real words, but they can be sounded out to sound like they are spelled.  Try to read the words on this paper just like you would read real words.  Touch each word as you read them as quickly as you can.  You may skip a word by letting me know before you go on to the next word."  Then begin to assess the student by writing either C for correct, I for incorrectly read words, and S for a word which is skipped.
                  cham           deech                chem                soch              chud

Reference:     Eldredge, J. (1995). Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classroom.  Prentice Hall Publishers. Chapter 10 & Appendix E.

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