Katie Allred
Beginning Reading Plan

Cha, Cha, Cha with /ch/

Rationale:   Letters are visual representations of phonemes.  When two letters come together to form one sound, the letter pair is called a digraph.  One common digraph is made of the letters ch and it says /ch/.  Knowledge of phonemes like this is crucial for fluent, successful reading.  The purpose of this lesson is to teach children to identify the correspondence ch=/ch/ in written and spoken language.  This lesson is prepared for a small group of children (limit 6).

Materials:  Chart with the tongue twister “Chuck the chimp chopped chicken with his chin”; primary paper and a pencil; a copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom  By: Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault (Simon, 1989) for each child; letterboxes (for 3, 4, and 5 phoneme words) and the letters c (2), h, l, u, n, o, i, m, p, r, a, t; tape; a picture page for each child with the following pictures:  church, home, chips, cookies, chalk, crayons, cherry, apple, cheetah, dog, cheese.

1. Introduce lesson:  Introduce lesson to the children by saying: “We have been learning about the sounds that letters make.  Today we are going to learn about two letters that we put together to make one special sound!  The letters we are going to put together are c and h.  Together ch says /ch/.  This is just like when you do the dance called the Cha-Cha and as you dance you say “1,2,3…cha, cha, cha”.  Can everyone practice saying /ch/ for me please? Good Job!

2. Practice with /ch/:  “Now that we know how to say /ch/, let’s say some words that have /ch/ in them.  Everyone say the word cheese with me.  (Have children repeat)  Now separate the /ch/ and say it like this ch-eese.  (Allow the children to repeat).  Good!  Let’s do the same thing for match.  This one is a little different because the /ch/ comes at the end, instead of the beginning!”  Continue with these words:  cheat, lunch, chest, such.

3. Read tongue twister on chart:  “Nice work boys and girls!  Now let’s read a tongue twister.  Everyone say it together as I point to the words (read together).  Now let’s read it again, but let’s break off the /ch/ from the rest of the word like this:  /ch/ uck the /ch/ imp….. (read again breaking off /ch/).  Great Job!”

4. Letterbox Lesson:  “Now we are going to spell some /ch/ words.  Please get out your letterboxes and letters.  You will spell the words by putting the sounds in the boxes.  Remember that ch makes one sound /ch/, so to help us remember that ch makes one sound we are going to tape the letter c and the letter h together (pass around tape and have children tape c and h together).  Now that we have c and h taped together, we will remember to put ch in one box because it represents one sound.  Ok, let’s get started.”  Words to be used:  chat, chin, chop, much (words with 3); lunch, chimp (words with 4); crunch (word with 5).  “Now that you all have done the work and spelled these words, I am going to spell them for you and your job will be to read them back to me to make sure that you know them.  Ready?”  Put words back into letter boxes and ask the children read them back.

5. Listening for /ch/ in spoken words:  “Ok, we are going to listen to some pairs of words.  You raise your hands and tell me which word has /ch/ in it.  Ready?  chimp or monkey?  change or bills?  chart or book?  pencil or chalk?  catch or throw?  win or cheat?  Good Job!”

6. Reading with /ch/:  “Now we are going to read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Everyone has his or her own copy and we will be reading to ourselves silently.  After you read, go back through the story and count the number of times you said /ch/.  Write it down on the primary paper.  Then, write any words from the story that had /ch/ in them.  Make this list on your primary paper too.  Afterwards, we will discuss what we found.” (Have students read, then discuss findings)

7. Assessment:  For assessment, the children will find the pictures whose names have /ch/ in them.  They will write the name under the pictures that have /ch/.   They will put an X on the pictures that do not have /ch/.  Later in the day, I will walk around and do a one-on-one reading assessment.  I will cover up the pictures on the same handout, but ask the children to read the /ch/ words out to me.  I will note students that are unable to complete this task.


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.

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