Chuck the Chipmunk

Beginning reading

By: Megan Mitchell

Rationale: In order for children to learn how to read they must first understand the purpose of phonemes and the sounds that they make. Being aware of digraphs and how they work is one step to beginning reading. Digraphs are groupings of two consonants. This can be confusing to some students who don’t understand why these consonants stay together. This lesson design   goal is to teach the digraph ch=/ch/.  The student will be provided a tongue twister and a picture to help them understand ch=/ch/. They will also practice writing words with ch=/ch/ in them. After this lesson students will have a better understanding of digraphs in general and ch=/ch/.

Materials: primary paper, picture page with characters that have the diagraph ch=/ch/ associated with them, markers, chart with the tongue twister “Chuck the chipmunk ate chunky cheese.” List of words (chimp, chipmunk, charge, lunch, cherry). Letter boxes, letters (c,h,i,m,p,a,r,g,e,n,u,k,l,r,y).

Procedures: 1. Introduce the lesson and the diagraph /ch/ to the students. Talk about the way the letter ch makes your mouth move and the sound that it makes. Also talk about how /ch/ likes to “stick together”. After we practice saying saying some words on a list that have /ch/ in them, then we well practice spelling them.

2. Next, I will hold up the picture of the chipmunk and the cheese and ask. “Have you ever saw a chipmunk before”?  Then I will say, “let’s pretend to call for a chipmunk while saying ch=/ch/, /ch/ …/ch/…/ch/.  I don’t think he hears us, we need to keep saying /ch/../ch/.”

3. Next, I will pull out the tounge twister and we will practice ch=/ch/ while repeating it together, then I will just let the student say it a couple of times. “Chuck the chipmunk ate chunky cheese.” “That’s good but let’s make sure we say /ch/ clearly.” “Now let’s try it again but this time we will break off the /ch/ in the words. “/Ch../uck the /ch../ipmunck ate /ch../unky /ch../eese.”

4. Have student take out the primary paper that is supplied have them practice writing the diagraph /ch/, and some words that have ch=/ch/ in them.

5. Call on student to answer and have him/her tell me how they know the /ch/ sound in each word.  Do you hear /ch/ in chip or snack? Throw or catch? Dollar or check? Change or paper? Chilli or soup?

6. Letterbox Lesson: Let me show you how to spell /ch/ in the word chimp.  Since c and h stick together, they are going to be together in one letterbox (model to student).  Spell the word chimp on the letterboxes and make sure the student understands how to do it.   I will sound out ch=/ch/  as I put it in the box.  I will then allow the student to spell different words for me with his/her letterboxes, (chimp, chipmunk, charge, lunch, cherry).

7. I will also have the words written on a flash card and will have the student read the words to me.  I will model the first word, chimp, and then allow him/her to read the rest of the words to me. 

8. For assessment, distribute a picture page and help students name the pictures and color in the ones whose names have /ch/.

Reference:  Author: Dr. Bruce Murray Title: The Reading Genie Website 


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