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Choo Choo Goes the Train

Chug along with the Choo Choo Train!

Emergent Literacy Lesson

Morgan Turner

This lesson will teach children about the correspondence /ch/, which is made by ch and tch. In order to be able to read with this correspondence, children must learn to recognize the spellings that map word pronunciations. Children will be learn, recognize, and spell words with the correspondence ch or tch in this lesson. They will learn a meaningful representation (the train goes CHOO CHOO), they will read and spell words with /ch/, they will practice finding words with /ch/ in texts, and the will apply phoneme awareness with /ch/ in phonetic cue reading.


  • Pencils
  • Primary Paper
  • Picture of a train representing CH
  • Word Cards (CH clarification)


  1. say: All letters make sounds by themselves. This is something that we have been learning. Do you remember what sound C makes? What about H? Do you remember what both of those sound like? What would happen if we put the two letters together and tried saying CH? We know what the /c/ sound says and we also know what the /h/ sound makes. When we put them together, it sounds like a Choo Choo train going down the tracks. Ch, ch, ch, ch, ch. Lets practice moving our mouth like we are about to be trains and ch, ch, choo choo on down the train tracks

  2. We are going to pretend we are on a train going down the train tracks. We are going to be the horn now. Lets say “Choo choo!” Good job. Now I want you to pretend we are on a train when we say this next few words. Every time we hear a word with the ch sound, stretch out the word like we are the train whistle. Ch ch chip. Ch ch chirp. Ch ch chug. Lets think about how are lips are positioned and where we feel our tongue in our mouth. I feel my tongue on the top of my mouth, but there is not much air coming out. There is the /ch/ sound in the word chase because I can hear the choo choo train and I can feel my tongue on the roof of my mouth. Do we hear the /ch/ in the word that? I didn't hear the choo choo train and my tongue wasnt on the roof of my mouth. Now you try saying chase to see how it feels!

  3. Now we are going to see how we find the /ch/ sound in some words I am going to tell you. We are going to stretch some words out and you tell me where you hear them. When you do, we are going to make the sound a train makes. Ccccchhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrr. I heard it at the beginning! Cheer has the /ch/ sound in the beginning of the word. Now lets see how we spell it. I know that C by itself says /c/ and H by itself says /h/, but when we put them together (put together on the letterboxes), I know that they say /ch/. What if I wanted to spell church? I would first have to think about how many phonemes I hear. How many phonemes do you hear? Can you help me sound them out? I hear /ch/ /u/ /r/ /ch/. That is 4 phonemes, so I know there will be 4 blanks on my chart. We will start off with the vowels. What vowel do you hear? I hear an /u/ as the second sound, so lets put that in the second blank. Now, what is the first sound you hear? Is it like the choo choo train? I think so too! Lets put BOTH letters, C and H, in the first box. Now what do you hear? Do you hear the /r/? I do too, so that will go in the third box. Finally, what is the last sound you hear? I hear the train too, so lets put those letters, C and H, in the last box! Now lets spell it all together. CHURCH. Good job!

  4. We are going to try a tongue tickler now. Are you ready? Cheerful Children Chant Charming Tunes. Lets say it together now. (say it with student). Good job! Now everytime we hear that CH sound, I want us to streeeeeetch it out, and we are going to be that train when we say the words. Are you ready? Cccchhhhhhheerful ccccchhhhhhhildren ccccchhhhhhhant ccccchhhhhhhharming tunes.

  5. (Have student take out primary paper and pencils). Okay, now we are going to practice writing our ch sound. We start with the letter c. First, start in the middle of the line, where the fence is. We are going to start a little below the fence, come up and touch the fence, and circle around to reach the sidewalk. We aren't making a full circle though! Now we are going to make the h. start at the roof. We are going to draw a straight line down to the sidewalk, bounce up to the fence, then curve over and go back down to the sidewalk again. Good job! Now I want you to practice this 7 more times.

  6. Now I am going to say some words, and I want you to tell me if you hear the choo choo train in one word or the other.

    1. Chirp or Sing?

    2. Circle or Chip?

    3. Catch or throw?

    4. Lunch or Dinner?

    5. Chart or Cart?

  7. You are doing such a good job today! Now we are going to look at a book I brought with me today. We are going to read “Chips for the Chicks.” This book is about mom letting the kids eat their lunch outside. What is going to happen when Lad wants to eat their food too? Have you ever eaten outside?

  8. That was a very good story!! I'm going to read you some cards and I want you to tell me if they have the CH sound or not? Are you ready?

    1. Clean

    2. chase

    3. Train

    4. Chomp

    5. Chew

    6. New

    7. Fetch

    8. Lunch

    9. Dinner

    10. Batch

    11. Match

    12. Mouse

    13. Latch

    14. Boat

    15. Trash

  9. Assessment: Distribute worksheet, read the directions, and have the students answer the questions on the worksheet.

    Super Teacher Worksheets


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