Choo Choo Train


Beginning Readers by Desiree Bennett


Rationale:  In this lesson children will learn to recognize the phoneme /ch/ by spelling and reading words that contain that digraph.  In order of children to learn to read and spell words, they have to understand that a phoneme can be represented by two letters.


Materials:  Chart paper with the tongue twister Charlie chugged along chasing Chuck, letter boxes and letters for each student 9c, h, o, p, a, t, I, n, r, l, b, u), book Chimps Don't Wear Glasses by Laura Numeroff, primary paper, pencils, worksheet with pictures and words on them (pictures: chalk, chimp, chair, tub, chicken, women, car, words:  chop, chin, challenge, cool, hair, choice), picture of chimp with a blank stomach



  1. Introduce:  "Today we will learn that c and h make the /ch/ sound when put together."
  2. Practice:  "Have you ever heard a train drive by?  It makes the ch-ch-ch-ch-ch sound.  Now everyone get in a line and pull the horn and make the ch-ch-ch-ch sound like a train."  Allow the children to be a train. and walk around the room.
  3. Tongue Twister:  "I am going to read you a sentence off the chart."  Pointing read the sentence Charlie chigged alon chasing Chuck.  "Now listen for the /ch/ sound while I read it slowly.  When you hear the /ch/ sound pull your train horns.  Now let's say the sentence together and drag out the /ch/ sound."
  4. Letter box lesson:  Pass out the letters and letter boxes to each student.  "Turn your letters on the lower case side."  Now model using chip.  "Ch-i-p I hear a /i/ in the middle and the i makes that sound.  I hear a /ch/ in the beginning and we learned today that the ch make that sound.  At the end I hear a /p/ which is the sound for p.  Notice that the ch is taped and go in the same box.  Why?  Because they make one sound when put together."  Now do the letter box lesson and walk around and access.  "Great job class.  Now I am going to spell them and you say them.  I will do one for you.  Chip, this word begins with /ch/ and says /i/ in the middle.  When put together that makes chi.  This word ends in /p/, so when blended it becomes chip.  "Now I will spell the words on at a time and you say them."  Walk around and listen and note miscues.
  5. Reading:  "We will read the book Chimps Don't Wear Glasses.  Everyone find a partner and I will give you a book.  Listen for the /ch/ sound as you read.  After reading get out paper and a pencil and flip through the book and write all the words with the ch in them."
  6. Give the children a picture of a chimp with a blank stomach and have them write words with ch in his stomach.  The children can work in groups to come up with as many words as possible.
  7. Assessment:  Give each student a worksheet with pictures on one side and words on the other.  They are to color the words with the /ch/ sound and circle the words with ch in them.  Take these up.  Have the children individually reread Chimps Don't Wear Glasses to you and note miscues o do a running record.



Eldredge, J. Lloyd.  Teaching Decoding in Holistic Classrooms.  Prentice Hall: 1995. Page 36.

Murry, Bruce & Theresa Lesniak.  "The letter box lesson:  A hands on approach for teaching decoding" The Reading Teacher: Vol.52, No.6. March, 1999.  Duh! It's D! by Whitney Adams.  


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