Charlie the Chimp

Beginning Reading

Lindsey Goodwyn

Rationale: Once students know the individual sounds each letter makes, they need to learn the sound some letters make when put together that make up a digraph so that they can read and write more words. The digraph this lesson focuses on is /ch/. This lesson is to help students read, write, spell and speak words that contain the digraph /ch/. They will be using tongue ticklers, books, elkonin boxes, and games to work on the digraph /ch/.


Tongue tickler: "Charlie the Chimp has a twitch and an itch" written on a poster

Elkonin boxes and letter tiles (c, r, u, n, c, h, a, t, i, m, b) for each child

Choose the Ch worksheet for each child (attached)

Copy of the book for each child: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault (Beach Lane Books (August 1, 2000))


1. Introduce digraphs: "Today we are going to start to blend some letters together. We already know the individual sounds that c and h make but today we are going to put them together to make a totally different sound. When two letters are put together they are called a digraph. So /ch/ is the digraph we are going to talk about today."

2. Discuss the sound /ch/ makes: "Have you ever played with a train set and made the horn go off so that it makes a choo choo sound? Well the ch you hear in choo is made by the digraph /ch/. Let's make the ch sound together in the words choo choo. Choo! Choo! Let's put a hand gesture with it. Every time we hear the ch in a word like choo choo lets pump our arm up and down like we are pulling the horn on a train down. Ready, Choo! Choo!

3. Now try this with a tongue tickler: "Charlie the Chimp has a twitch and an itch." I am going to read this first and the second time I read it I want you to show me with your arm when you hear the ch in the tongue tickler. Now let's do slow together and pretend to pull our arm when we hear the /ch/ sound in the sentence: Cccharlie the ccchimp has a twitcchh and an itccchhh."

4. Elkonin Boxes: "Now I need everyone to pull out their letter boxes and letter tiles because now we are going to spell some words that contain ch. Before we get started I want to remind you that each box can have only one sound. So now that we know ch makes the /ch/ sound we know that both the c and the h will be placed in one box when we hear that sound." Write each word on the board and have students read the words aloud together.


Model word: crunch (5)

3- chat, chin, much, rich

4- ranch, chart

5- branch

Letters: c, r, u, n, c, h, a, t, i, m, b

5. Now we are going to read a book called Chica Chica Boom Boom. In this book there is a letter that challenges all the other letters to climb a tree. To see if all of the letters will fit in the tree without falling off you need to read the book. Raise your hands if you have any questions and I will come and help you. As the students are reading walk around and monitor and help as needed.

6. Now we are going to play a riddle game. Raise your hand if you figure out the answer.

I have numbers on me and I tell time and am worn around your wrist. Answer: watch

I'm not breakfast or dinner. What am I? Answer: lunch

I ride a broom on Halloween. What am I? Answer: a witch

I like to be eaten with peanut butter and jelly. Answer: sandwich

7. Assessment: Provide the students with a worksheet containing different pictures such as a chair, boat, apple, watch, match and have the students circle the words that have a /ch/ in them. When they are working on this worksheet have the students come up to your desk to ask them questions about the story they read.

          Did all of the letters fit in the tree?

          When the letters got into the tree were they in the correct order?

          What kind of letters fell out of the tree?

          Who helped the letters of the ground?



Kincey Hicks' "Shhhhhh!! Beginning Reading Design:

Lauren Bino's "The Fish Say Shhh" Beginning Reading Design:  


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