Say "Ch-cheese"

Emergent Literacy

Jamie Smith


Rationale: Students will learn the digraph /ch/. This is important because it is an irregular sound that occurs in many words. This lesson will help students develop recognition of /ch/ in written and spoken words by using different activities to enforce c and h together represent /ch/. One way this goal will be accomplished is by relating /ch/ sound to saying "cheese" when they smile for a picture. Students will say cheese while pretending to take a picture with their hands.



Book: Interrupting Chicken By: David Ezra Stein

Chart paper with "Charley chewed on a chilly piece of cheese."

Word cards with: chat, chill, chime, porch, lunch, chomp

White paper and crayons

Scissors and glue

Primary paper and pencil

Assessment worksheet of pictures that begin with /ch/ (attached)



1. Say: Today we are going to learn a digraph, which are sounds two letters make when they are together. Our digraph we are going to work on spotting today is /ch/. C and h are glued together and make only one sound /ch/. We usually say /k/ and /h/ when we see the letters c and h but when they are beside each other they make the sound /ch/ like in cheese. /Ch/ sounds like what you say when someone takes your picture, "cheeeeese".


2. Let's pretend that I'm taking your picture and say "cheeeese". (Have students hold their hands up at their eyes and pretend like they are taking pictures of each other. How does our mouth look we say /ch/? You can say it looks like you are about give a kiss to someone then you open up to let the air out. Let's listen and see how we can hear /ch/ in a word.


3. Let me show you how to find the /ch/ in the word munch. I'm going to stretch out the word munch and let you find the /ch/. Mmmm-uuuuuu-nnnnn-chhhhh. There it was, I heard the /ch/. 


4.  Let's do a tongue twister (have it written on chart paper). I will say it first then you will repeat after me, "Charley chewed on a chilly piece of cheese." Say it as a class three more times. Say: Now we are going to say it again really stretching out the /ch/ and taking pictures in slow motion. "Chhhhharley chhhhhewed on a chhhhhilly piece of chhhheese." Now we are going to cut off the /ch/ part of the word, "/ch/arley /ch/ewed on a piece of /ch/illy /ch/eese.


5. (Have students take out a piece of primary paper and a pencil.) Now, we are going to write ch on our paper. We will start with the letter c. The letter c starts at the fence then curves around to the sidewalk. Next, we are going to write the h. We'll start at the rooftop and draw a straight line all the way down to the sidewalk. Then we'll draw a hump (to the right) that connects to the straight line and goes up to the fence then back down to the sidewalk. We have now drawn c and h, /ch/. 


6. Call on students to answer and tell how they knew. Do you hear /ch/ in cat or chatbake or chasecheat or honestsuch or luck? ( If a student answers correctly make sure to use praise: Very good, that was  tricky because /ch/ was at the end) Now let's see if you can tell when your mouth moves to make /ch/. Say: Repeat the words after me, if you hear /ch/ take your picture. Chug, bug, chase, stay, cheeseburger, much, luck, lunch, cheap. Make sure you assess students by watching them to see if they are using their hands to take a picture when they hear the /ch/ sound.


7. Read the book Interrupting Chicken Give a book talk before reading. (Booktalk) This book is about a Papa chicken who reads a story to his son. The little chicken interrupts during parts of the story! Lets read to find out if he lets his Papa finish any of the stories without interrupting.  Say: As I read I want you to be listening for all the words that have the /ch/ sound in it. After you read the book, get out blank paper, and have children think of other words that have /ch/ in them and draw pictures of them on the paper.


8. Time to get out your word cards. I will show CHAT and model how to decide if it is chat or that. Now you try some, CHILL: mill or chill, CHIME: lime or chime, PORCH: torch, or porch, LUNCH: brunch or lunch, CHOMP: stomp or chomp.


9. For further assessment distribute worksheets. Students will have all of the /ch/ worksheets, and let them color them and write the /ch/ word on the lines. I will call students individually to read the phonetic cue words from step #8.



Lauren Leech, Lets Chug with Ch

Assessment Worksheet:

Interrupting Chicken, David Ezra Stein



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