The Train Says Choo Choo


Emergent Literacy Lesson

By:  Sara Beasley


This lesson teaches children about the consonant correspondence ch=/ch/.  In order to be able to read, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations.  In this lesson, children will learn to recognize and read words containing the spelling ch.  They will learn a meaningful representation (train saying Choo Choo), they will learn the letter symbols for /ch/, practice finding /ch/ in words, read words with /ch/, and apply phoneme awareness with /ch/ in phonetic cue reading by distinguising rhyming words from beginning letters.



Pencils (4)

Primary Paper

Picture of train representing CH

Tongue twister flash card

Word cards (for read aloud CH identification)

Assessment worksheet:




1. Say: “We know that letters by themselves make a sound. What sound does C make? What sound does H make? What sound would C and H make if we put them together? If we made the /c/ sound and the /h/ sound together. Let's pay attention to the way our mouth moves when we /ch/. Let's try it. We spell /ch/ with the letters CH. A train makes two /ch/ sounds. The train's horn says “choo choo” and the train chugs down the track, it sounds like “ch, ch, ch, ch”.

2. Let's pretend we are on a train. Let's sound the horn, “choo choo”. Now let's make the sound would make while it is chugging down the tracks, “chug, chug, chug”. Notice where your tongue is when you say /ch/ touching the roof of your mouth). When we say /ch/ we let out air we trapped behind our tongue.

3. Let me show you how to find /ch/ in the word catch. I'm going to stretch catch out in super slow motion and listen for the sound the train makes when it is going down the tracks. Ccchhaassee. There it is. It is at the beginning of the word. I felt my tongue touch the roof of my mouth and then let out the air. I can feel the train sound, /ch/.

4. Let's try a tongue twister. [on flashcard]. “Cheating Charley cheated on his cheesy chips recipe.” Let's say it three times together. Now let's say it again and this time stretch the CH at the beginning of the words. “cccchhhheating cccchhharlie cccchhheated on his cccchhhhesy cccchhhhips recipe.

5. [The student will now take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil] We use the letters CH to spell /ch/. Let's write a lowercase C and a lowercase H. To write a lowercase C we start just below the fence then we curl our line down to the left until we touch the side walk, it should look like half of a circle between the fence and sidewalk. To write a lowercase H we start by drawing a straight line from the rooftop down to the sidewalk. Next we make a curve that touches the line we just made starting at the fence and we go all the way down to the sidewalk on the right side. After you write the C and the H let me see and once I put a check on your paper I want you to make 8 more just like them.

6. Now I am going to tell you some words two at a time and I want you to tell me which word you hear the /ch/ sound in. Ready?

chip or circle

fetch or fish

bug or French

bunch or car

chart or cart

7. Let's look at the book I brought, Interrupting Chicken. This book is about a little chicken that keeps interrupting his Papa when he is trying to tell him a bedtime story. Let's try to think of a name for chicken that starts with a CH. I am going to call him Chad. What is your name for chicken?

8. Say:  That was a fun story!  Now I am going to show you some words on cards and I am going to read them aloud and I want you to listen and tell me if they have the /ch/ sound. If they do give me a thumbs up and if they don't show me a thumbs down.

[show cards]

Champ            Cat                  Chomp                      Chew             Clean              Chime            Cow

Chase             Mouse              Match                        Fang              Fetch              Bet                 Batch


Distribute the worksheet.  Read the directions and make sure the student understands the task at hand. The student is to circle the pictures of the items that contain /ch/ in their name. (




Free Phonics Worksheets.  Phonics Assessment Worksheet.



Google Search.  Animated Train

Michelle Jones. Chugging Along With CH.

Stein, David Ezra. Interrupting Chicken.


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