Champions Check for /ch/

Beginning Reading

Nicole Pender  

 Rationale:       There are a lot of skills that children need to know in order for them to learn to read and spell words.  One of these very important skills for them to know is that a phoneme can be represented by more than one letter and that each letter can represent different phonemes.  This lesson will help children recognize digraphs.  Digraphs are two letters that, together, make one sound.  We will begin digraphs by learning ch = /ch/ because it is one of the easiest to learn.  Children will learn to recognize /ch/ by spelling and reading words that contain this digraph in them.  They will know that c and h together make the sound /ch/.


~Overhead projector

~ chalkboard, chalk, dry-erase boards and markers

~ Poster with tongue twister “Chelsea chose to chant that Chase was a champion”

~ Elkonin letterboxes and letters for each student              (c,h,i,n,r,l,a,e,t,k,c,u,m,p)

~ list of words (chair, chat, check, latch, rich, match, chant, lunch, champ, crunch)

~  A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams

~ letterboxes and needed letters (c,h,i,n,r,l,a,e,t,k,c) for the teacher.


~  We will review the sounds that c and h makes respectively.  Then I will explain that when we put the two letters together it makes a different sound like /ch/.  "Today we are going to learn something new about our alphabet.  Did you know that sometimes, when you put two letters together they make a different sound than each of those letters by themselves do?  We are going to learn what happens when you put the letter c and the letter h together.  Ch makes the sound /ch/.  We are going to talk about the way our mouths move when we say /ch/.  Watch my mouth as I say check.  Can everyone make that mouth movement and sound with me?  Very good!  We are going to think about this sound like we are checking off a list of things to do.  Have you ever seen your mom check off things on her grocery list?  You could make the /ch/ sound every time you ch-ch-check something off.  "

~ Then I will write the words chair, champ, and much on the board and  read them aloud.  The students will read the words with me.  I will then read the words more slowly, exaggerating the /ch/ sound.  I will circle the ch in each word as we read it.  Then I will have the students read the words again with the digraph circled and have them exaggerate the sound.

~  I will write the tongue twister, “Chelsea chose to chant that Chase was a champion.” on the board.  “I want you all to get out your marker boards and markers and write down this sentence as we read it.  Pay close attention to the /ch/ sound in each word.  Then I want you to circle the ‘ch’ in every word that has it.”  After reading the sentence out loud and providing appropriate time, I will call on students to come to the board and circle the digraph. 

~  Letterbox Lesson:  "I need everyone to get out their letterboxes with three boxes showing."  I will then pass out the lowercase letters.  I will model for them how to do a letterbox word.  "If I want to spell chap in my letterboxes, I will think /ch/ - /a/ - /p/, and place the letters that make each sound in a different box."  I will demonstrate this on the overhead projector.  I will explain why the c and the h are taped together.  "Why did I tape the c and h together?  That's right, because they make one sound, so they go in one box, very good."  Next I will slowly give them the words and have them complete the letterboxes for each word.  The letterbox words will be: (3) latch, check, chat, rich; (4) match, chant, lunch, champ (5) crunch.   "Great job class, you have all done very well spelling these words.  Now that you have done all the work, I'm going to put them on the overhead and we are going to read them together."  I will display the letters of the words one at a time and have the students read them.

~  For the reading portion of the lesson I will have multiple copies of A Chair for My Mother by Vera B. Williams.  I will have the students bring their marker boards and markers and get with a partner.  They will read the book the first time for meaning.  Then they will read it the second time.  As you read this story for the second time to each other, I want you all to look for the /ch/ sound we have talked about.  Whenever you see it, I want you to put a ch-ch-checkmark on your board.  After you read the book, we will tally up the checkmarks to see who found the most words that have the /ch/ sound in them.  Let me tell you a little bit about this book.  This is about a little girl, her mother that is a waitress, and her grandmother.  Her mother works very hard at her job and tries to save her money.  They all want to be able to buy a new chair when they have enough money for it.  They lived their lives happily until one day their house was on fire!  All of their nice things were gone.  What will they do?  I wonder if they ever get a chair they want?  I want you to read to find out.

~ Assessment:  I will wrap up the lesson by giving each child a list of words"I am going to give everyone a list of words I printed out.  Some of them have the /ch/ sound in them and some of them do not.    I want you to put a ch-ch-checkmark beside the words that do have the /ch/ sound in them.  (chat, chimp, rack, late, champ, snack, lunch, cheer, class, check)  I will let them practice reading the words aloud while I come by and make sure they are able to read the words correctly.


 Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice-Hall. 1995. pp. 50-70.

 Murray, Bruce A. and Theresa Lesniak. "The Letterbox Lesson:  A Hands-on Approach for Teaching Decoding." The Reading Teacher. Vol. 52, No. 6. March 1999. pp. 664-650. – "Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies" by Tamara Hill“Chocolate Chip Cookies for Lunch” by Libba Brannon

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