Chugging with CH

Emergent Literacy

By: Katie Backer



Rationale: This lesson is designed as an easy way for children to recognize the digraph/phoneme relationship, ch = /ch/. The students will learn this phoneme by practicing a chugging motion with their arms while making the /ch/ sound, like a train. We will practice finding the phoneme /ch/ in words, as well as practice writing out the digraph.



Materials: Photo of a train; sound bite of a train (chugging); CH-grapheme poster and illustration; primary paper and pencils; worksheets for practicing ch; note cards with ch words on each (chair, cheese, choke, beach, search, chew); and Broadway Chicken, by Sebastien Tellier




1. Say: We are going to learn /ch/ today! You are going to learn that in /ch/, c and h are glued together and make only one sound. We are going to listen to something and I want you to tell me what you hear. {Listen to sound bite of train}. Can you tell me what that is? That's right, a train! {Show the picture of the train.} We are going to learn how to make the /ch/ sound and write it in words. Then you will tell me which words have the /ch/ sound in them.


2. We are going to make the sound of chugging like a choo choo train, the /ch/ sound. Bite your teeth together and bring your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Let's practice as a class! Do we sound like the train on the tape?


3. Now that we can make the /ch/ and we know that is the sound when c and h are glued together, let's move our arms like we are a train. Can you say /ch/ and move your arms like they are the wheels of a train at the same time? {Model.}


4. I am going to show you how to find the /ch/ in beach. Listen for the chugging of the choo choo train. Bb-eeaa-cchh. Slower: Bbb-eeeaaa-ccchhh. Did you hear the chugging? I felt my teeth bite together and I brought my tongue to the roof of my mouth.


5. Let's try and remember the phoneme /ch/ by learning a silly tongue twister. I am going to say it first, and then you can say it! – Charlie chose to chew cheese on the beach. {They repeat.} Now say it again, and this time stretch the /ch/ in each word. Ccchhharlie ccchhhose to ccchhhew ccchhheese on the beaccchhh. Good job!


6.  {Have students take out primary paper and pencil.} We are going to write ch on our paper. We will start with the letter c. The letter c starts at the fence, then curves around to the sidewalk. Next, we are going to write the h. We will start at the rooftop, fall down to the sidewalk, then draw a hump that connects to the line and goes to the fence and back down to the sidewalk. Great! We have drawn a c and an h. Let's keep practicing!


7. Now, we are going to complete a writing activity. On the worksheet you will see three different pictures. You need to circle which picture has the /ch/ sound in it.


8. We are going to finish with a story, Broadway Chicken, by Sebastien Tellier. Every time you hear the /ch/ sound, I want you to chug with your arms!



Pease, Kathleen.  Chicks Say Chirp Chirp Chirp! Summer 2008.

Broadway Chicken, by Sebastien Tellier. 

Return to the Doorways Index.