Check out these fun ways to teach /ch/ and ch digraph to your little learners. When I started teaching Kindergarten, we spent the entire school year focusing on letters and sounds of the alphabet. Now, Kindergarten teachers are teaching the alphabet during the first half of the school year on the alphabet and then we move on to additional sounds to make words. Let’s check out digraph activities for first grade and digraph activities for kindergarten.
Introducing Ways to Teach /ch/ and ch Digraph
Let’s talk about activities to teach digraphs. On Monday or at the start of the week, I introduce the idea that two letters can work together to make one DIFFERENT sound. We sound out c and h but then we talk about how it does not make that sound but makes the /ch/ sound instead. I add a “chuga chuga- choo choo” sound and we pull a train whistle. Next, I show them some words that are examples of the /ch/ sound.
I also love to introduce this topic using this Phonics Tales book called Chimp and Chick’s Lunch. We made the /ch/ sound each time the book makes this sound. Then, we also complete some simple whole-group phonics activities as our curriculum dictates. (We use the Orton Gillingham approach to phonics and some direct phonics instruction activities.)
Matching to Make Words
Learning about new sounds and new words with their sounds takes lots of practice and word work. Making it fun makes your learners want to work on it. Here is one of our word work activities to make ch words. We have the ch on one side and the remaining part of the word on the other side.
You can see this word-making activity in action above as ways to teach /ch/ and ch digraph.
Working on Words Mats
In small groups, we work on reading more ch words. Check out these ch word mats. Students look at the picture and sound it out. (These are the same pictures that I introduced on the first day we talked about the ch sound and that we repeat each day.) Next, we focus on breaking down the word and finding the word on the mat.
This takes a little bit of slow word work for many learners who are building but what a great way to work on sounding out words. And you can also check out the color-coded border colors. Each learner gets a different color-coded mat so we know which pieces belong to which student.
Word Building to Word Writing
After we sound out words, we move on to writing these words. I use this simple (leveled) printable in a page protector. Students add the /ch/ sound to make the word.
More Writing with a ch Sound Reader
Another great learning activity is this ch reader. We take our reader (which is also leveled) and add the ch to it. We chose to use our pencils for handwriting practice but you could also have your student cut out the given letters to make the words. Then, we practice reading the book. Simple but effective for writing and reading ch words.
Always Reviewing Ways to Teach /ch/ and ch Digraph
In the beginning, we talked about how Kindergarten teachers have previously worked so hard on letters and sounds of the alphabet. It is critical for your learners to spiral this review continuously! One of my biggest tips and tricks is to change the theme so it remains engaging for your learners. For this topic, I used the mouse and cheese theme to continue alphabet support.