Melanie Starr
Beginning Readers

Rationale: Consonant digraphs like /ch/ are important in mastering literacy.  This lesson is designed in a meaningful representation for students to recognize /ch/ in written and oral speech.

Materials: primary paper; pencils; chart with "Chuck the chicken cheerfully chomps on chili cheese chunks" written on it; drawing paper; crayons; construction paper in the shape of a train; picture page with peach, fish, chair, cheese, teacher, table, roach, church, chopsticks, cherry, apple, chest; the book Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox by Grace Maccarone

1. "Today we're going to learn that /ch/ is spelled with 'ch.'  Notice that this sound is like a choo-choo train (chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo).  Now you try."  Students
    say /ch/.
2. "What is one sound that comes out when you sneeze?"  (Stop when someone says "achoo").  Notice that achoo has /ch/ in it.  Pay attention to the way your mouth
    and tongue move when you say that sound."
3. "Let's try a tongue twister (pull out chart paper with tongue twister on it).  Teacher reads the tongue twister out loud, following along each word with her finger:
    "Chuck the chicken cheerfully chomps on chili cheese chunks.  Let's read it together."  As a class: "Chuck the chicken cheerfully chomps on chili cheese chunks.
    Now let's say it, but this time let's separate the /ch/ from the word it is in."  As a class: "Ch-uck the ch-icken ch-eerfully ch-omps on ch-ili ch-eese ch-unks."
4. "We can use the letters ch together to spell /ch/.  First write c starting a little below the fence.  Curve your pencil up so it touches the fence and curve it down to
    the sidewalk.  Once you touch the sidewalk, curve it up so it is a little above the sidewalk.  Next, draw an h right next to it by drawing a straight line from the sky
    down to the sidewalk.  Then trace up the line you just drew and curve up to the right right before you get to the fence.  Touch the fence and then bring your pencil
    straight down to touch the sidewalk."  Have the students practice writing ch together.  "When you see the letters ch next to each other in a word, you know that it
    can sound like /ch/."
5. "Let's pretend that we are allergic to objects that have /ch/ in the word.  Every time you hear /ch/ in a word, I want you to sneeze 'achoo.'  For example, if I hear
    the word 'horse' I will sit quietly because it does not have /ch/.  But if I hear the work 'chocolate' I will sneeze 'achoo.'  Here we go: cheese, caramel, chicken,
    pork, French fries, milkshakes, lunch meats, potato chips, popcorn."  Stop and talk about any words that the students have trouble hearing /ch/.  You may need to
    point out that 'milkshakes' has /sh/, which is different from /ch/.
6. Have the students write a story about a train using /ch/ words.  Use construction paper cut out as trains for the cover of the book.  Have smoke coming out of the
    train with 'choo-choo' written in it.
7. Teacher reads aloud the book Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox.  The students will say /ch/ every time they hear /ch/ in a word.  Afterwards the class can have a
    discussion on the words they have chosen from the story to see if they agree/disagree that they have /ch/ in them.
8. For assessment, read a paragraph* to the students individually and circle words that have the /ch/ sound that the students picked out in the reading.

Reference: Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall-Merrill, 1995.

     *Cherry pie is my favorite dessert.  Chuck makes them for Rachel and me.  The crust is crunchy and the cherries are mushy.  It is so good.  My birthday is in March and Chuck always makes a cherry pie for me.  I always share the pie with my other friends because they like it too.  I like Chuck's cherry pie so much that I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each and every day!

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