Tammy Bauer
Beginning Reader

Rationale:  Children need to have an understanding of individual letters to their phoneme correspondences.  After reviewing several short vowel phonemes, children are ready to be introduced to digraphs.  The goal of working with digraphs is to help the students understand the connection between graphemes and phonemes.  This lesson will introduce the digraph ch=/ch/.  They will be able to recognize /ch/ in spoken words by learning a corresponding hand gesture that goes along with the phoneme and a picture that represents the phoneme. 


Primary paper and pencil
Poster board with ‰¥þChuckie chugged chocolate cocoa cheerfully as the choo choo chugged.‰¥ÿ
Picture of the wheels of a train representing the ch=/ch/ sound.
Letterbox lesson ‰¥þboxes‰¥ÿ and letters a, c, e (3), h, n, r, s, t, u .  For the words:  chat, cheese, chest, crunch.
Chips for Chicks, by:  Geri Murray
Note cards with these pseudowords:  chame, luch, chift, riech
Worksheet with /ch/ on them


  1. Introduce the lesson by explaining that we are going to learn about the digraph, ch=/ch/.  Explain that some letters like to stick together as friends and the friend‰¥ús c and h stick together to make one sound /ch/.  Today, we‰¥úre going to work on the sound ch=/ch/.  You will learn to identify /ch/ in listening and reading.
  2. Have you ever heard a train say, ‰¥þch, ch, ch‰¥ÿ?  (Show the students a picture of the wheels of the train.)  Let‰¥ús practice our /ch/ sound while watching the train move on the track.  (Motion your hands going around like the wheels on a train.)  The sound of the train lets people know that it is moving down the tracks.
  3. Now, let‰¥ús try a tongue twister (on poster).  ‰¥þChuckie chugged chocolate cocoa cheerfully as the choo choo chugged.‰¥ÿ  Let‰¥ús say it together three times.  (Say it three times with the students saying it also.)  Now let‰¥ús say it again, but this time let‰¥ús stretch the /ch/ at the beginning of the words, like this:  ‰¥þCcchhhuckie ccchhhugged ccchhhocolate cocoa ccchhheerfully as the ccchhhoo ccchhhoo ccchhhugged.‰¥ÿ  This time, let‰¥ús break the /ch/ sound on each word:  ‰¥þ/ch/uckie/ch/ugged /ch/ocolate  cocoa /ch/eerfully as the /ch/oo /ch/oo /ch/ugged.
  4. I would like for you to get your primary paper and pencil.  Now you know how to identify ch=/ch/ by hearing the sound of /ch/.  Let‰¥ús write it out so that you can identify it on paper.  Remember that the letters of c and h go together as friends and make the /ch/ sound.  Let‰¥ús write these letters together.  We‰¥úre going to first draw the letter c.  Start like little a.  Go up and touch the fence, then around and up.  Now let‰¥ús try our h right beside our c.  Start at the sky, come down to the grass and make a hump right below the fence and come back down to the grass.  Good.  We have made our friends c and h.  What kind of sound does ch=/ch/ make?  /ch/.  That‰¥ús right.  I would like for you to write the friends /ch/ ten more times.  Remember when you see c and h together, that‰¥ús the signal to say /ch/.
  5. Let me show you have to find /ch/ in cheese.  I‰¥úm going to stretch cheese out in a VERY slow motion and I want you to listen for the /ch/ sound.  When you hear the /ch/ sound in the word cheese, I want you to move your arms around like the wheels on the train and make the /ch/ sound with me.  Ch-ch-ch-e-e-s-e.  Good job! 
  6. Now we are going to see if we can identify /ch/ in certain words by doing a letterbox lesson.  I‰¥úm going to give each one of you a bag of letters.  I am going to also give you our ‰¥þfold out boxes‰¥ÿ to help you identify each sound in the words.  Remember since c-h only makes one sound they will go in one box together.  I will give you an example.  The word will be chat.  Chat has 3 sounds, so there will be 3 boxes to represent each sound.  I will sound out the word for you, ch-aaaaaa-ttttt.  Now I will put my letters in the ‰¥þfold-out boxes‰¥ÿ (ch)(a)(t).  Chat.  Now have the students use the LBL boxes to spell out chat (3 boxes), rich (3 boxes), chest (4 boxes) and crunch (5 boxes).  Now that you are done spelling the words, I am going to write each of the words on the board and I want you to read the words to me.  (Write each word one at a time on the board and have the students read each word). 
  7. I think you are getting very good with the ch=/ch/ sound.  Show me how good you have become hearing the /ch/ by moving your arms in a circle every time you hear /ch/ when I read this book called Chips for Chicks.  In this story two children see chicks hatch.  While the children are having their lunch their dog tries to get into their chips.  You will have to read to see what happens to the chips.  Read the story to them.  Read the story to them again and have the students move their arms in a circle every time they hear words with the ch=/ch/ sound. 
  8. I am going to show you some note cards with words written on them.  See if you can read these words out loud to me.  (Show them the note cards with the pseudowords written on them:  chame, luch, chift, riech.
  9. For assessment, I‰¥úm going to pass out a worksheet that includes pictures of different objects on them.  Beside each picture will be a list of words.  The students will need to circle the correct word that represents the picture.  They will need to place an "x" beside the picture that contains the ch=/ch/ sound.   (Pictures include:  check, chicks, drum, chips, dog, and cat.)


 Whiting, JulieAnna, Chuggin‰¥ú on Through,

Murray, Geri  (2006.)  Chips for Chicks.

‰¥þHow to Print Letters‰¥ÿ, The Reading Genie website,

 Click here to return to Voyagers Index