Chica-Chica Choo Choo
Heather Grenon

 For students to become fluent readers, they must first recognize phonemes in spoken words.  This lesson will help students better understand the correspondences between "ch" and ch = /ch/.

 primary writing paper, a chart with "Chuck changes his challenge to climb a chimney", the book Chica Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., a word list including the words chalk, chance, charge, chop, chip, lunch, crunch, match, and bunch.

1. I will begin the lesson by explaining how we blend several letters together to create language.  I may start by using Charlie Brown's name as an example.  "Have you ever looked at the words in your name?  All those letters are blended together to make the sounds you hear.  Take Charlie Brown's name for example, Charlie Brown.  C….hhh…aaarrr….llll….iiieee… okay that says 'Charlie.'  Now lets try Brown.  B….rrrrr….ooowww….nnn, okay that says 'Brown.'  All those letters are blended together to make a spoken word."  Then I will introduce the correspondences ch = /ch/.  "Today we will be working with only two letters.  'c' and 'h'.  When we put these two letters next to one another, they say c= /c/ and h = /h/.  Good, now lets say them together, ch = /ch/.  It sounds like a train going by…. choo choo.  Do you hear the ch = /ch/?"
2. "I want you to look at this chart.  I am going to read it to you, and then we will read it together.  'Chuck changes his challenge to climb the chimney.'  Can you say it with me?  Chuck changes his challenge to climb the chimney.  Good!  Now, lets say the ch = /ch/ and really drag it out so we can hear it.  Ch…uck ch…anges his ch…allenge to climb the ch…imney.  Very good!"
3. "We are going to practice writing "ch" on our paper so we can write words like chop and chance.  We are going to start by writing 'c.' Remember to start below the fence line, then some up to the fence, and then bring it back down like a half circle to the sidewalk (model this).  Now we are going to make the 'h.' The 'h' starts way up at the sky and goes straight down to the sidewalk.  But wait!  Before you pick up pencil, bring your line back up to the fence line and curve it back down to the sidewalk (model this).  Good job.  Now I want you to write 5 more 'ch' just like the one you have.  As you finish writing each one, say ch."
4. "Lets practice what we have learned.  Do you hear /ch/ in chalk or pencil?  Good, chalk.  What about paper or chart?  Good, chart.  What about try or chance?  Very good, chance.  What about cash or charge?  That was tricky, but you got it!  Charge.  What about chop or peel?  That's right, chop."
5. "Now, lets read Chica Chica Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr."  After reading the book, ask the students what words they heard that had the /ch/ sound.  Go back through the book and ask "Do you hear /ch/ in this word __________?"  Go through the book to give the students practice.
6. For assessment, have pictures of things like chalk, cheese, chopping, and chips for the students to match the words to.  The pictures should be on one side and the words on the other.  The students will draw a lone from the word to the corresponding picture.

Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  "Types of phonics instruction to Provide for Children".  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1995. page 48.

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