Chuga-Chuga- Choo Choo


Emergent Literacy

Laci Rickard


Rationale: In order for children to be successful in phonics, reading and spelling, they need to understand phonemes.  Children learn to recognize different phonemes and sounds by matching letters to their vocal gestures in spoken contexts.  In this lesson, children will learn the sound and the spelling of the digraph ch=/ch/.  They will practice using and identifying the digraph /ch/ in written and spoken content.



- a small mirror for every student

- copy of the tongue twister

- primary paper

- pencils

- list of words for “which word” exercise

- the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”

- Popsicle stick with glued on paper train for every student

- white board or chalk board

- book for individual assessment




1.  Introduce lesson by asking do you know what sound a train makes?  It says “Choo Choo.”  “Ok, now you pull the handle with me and let’s sound the train’s whistle together. And together we will pull our handles and make the sound “choo choo.”” 


2.  Then I will say “every sound you make with your mouth has its own special mouth move.  Now let’s say “choo choo” together again slowly watching our mouth moves in the mirror.”  “Choo Choo”  Now let’s just say the beginning part of choo choo, the sound /ch/ and watch our mouths closely in the mirror.”  “/ch/” 


3.  Now let’s do a tongue twister together to practice the /ch/ sound.  “Charlie chases Chappy to win his cherry chewing gum.”  “Ok now everyone say it together.  Now as we say it this time let’s stretch out all the /ch/ sounds. As we say it pull your handle every time you say the /ch/ sound.  This time when we say it we are going to separate the /ch/ sound completely. “/Ch/ arlie /ch/ ases /Ch/ appy to win /ch/ erry /ch/ ewing gum. 


4.  “Now we are going to spell the /ch/ sound.”  Students will take out primary paper and a pencil.  “We use the letters c and h to spell /ch/.  Now I will show you how to write them then we will practice together.  To make a c, you start out at the fence and then curve around down to the sidewalk.  To make an h, you start out at the rooftop and draw a line all the way to the sidewalk then bounce back up to the fence and around.  Now let’s try it together.” 


5.  “Now we are going to practice finding the /ch/ sound in words.  First let me show you with the word coach.  I will stretch the sounds out and see if we can find the /ch/.  C—oa—ch.  There it is, right there at the end of the word.  Now it is your turn.” 


6.  I will take out my list of words.  “Now I am going to give you two words and I want you to tell me which one you hear the /ch/ sound in.  Chip or dip?  Sand or beach? Chime or rhyme?  Throw or catch?  Ditch or dirt?”


7.  “Now we are going to read the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.”  As I read I want you to pull your handle down every time I say a word that has the /ch/ sound.  What words in the title have the /ch/ sound?  Ok now we will begin.”  After we are finished reading the book, I will have students tell me words that we read in the book that had the /ch/ sound.


8.  To give more practice, I will give each child a Popsicle stick with a little paper train glued to the end.  “Now I want you to listen to the sentences I read and every time you hear the sound /ch/ sound raise your Popsicle stick in the air.” 


9.  To assess, I will have the children come up to my desk and read individually during center time.  I will choose a book with many words that have the /ch/ sound. 




Archambault, John and Bill Martin Jr.(2000) Lois Ehlert (Illustrator) Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. New York: Alladdin.


Lincoln, Katie.  “Choo Choo!”


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