This page contains information to support educators and families in teaching K-3 students about phonics and the “ch” digraph. The information is designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. movie. It explains the type of content covered in the movie Ch, provides ideas for how teachers and parents can develop related understandings, and suggests how other BrainPOP Jr. resources can be used to scaffold and extend student learning.
A digraph is a pair of letters that form one phoneme, or sound. This phonics movie will explore the digraph ch and provide different examples. We encourage you to explore books together with children and find words that feature the digraph. We also strongly recommend pausing the movie so children can come up with their own examples. Encourage them to be creative as they explore language and sounds.
Review the alphabet with your children. Explain that vowels are the letters a, e, i, o, u, and sometimes y. The consonants are all the other letters. Each letter has its own sound. Sometimes when consonants come together, they form a different sound.
Remind children that the letter c makes a kuh sound, as in cat or cape. The letter h makes a huh sound, as in hat or hope. The digraph ch makes the ch sound, as in chip or chain. What other words use the sound? Brainstorm words and draw pictures to help children with comprehension. Some examples include cheap, chick, chimp, much, touch, achoo, sandwich, chat, and children. Challenge them to come up with words where the digraph appears in the beginning, middle, or end of the word. What is a word that has ch in the beginning and end? Church! Encourage children to employ rhyming strategies to come up with more words and practice writing them. Remind children that when they read and encounter ch in a word, they should not read the letters separately, but rather together to form one sound unit. You may want to write down a ch word they are unfamiliar with and sound it out together to model the skill.
Some children may note that ch can also make a shh sound, as in machine. Challenge them to come up with more words that follow this pronunciation, such as chef, chute, Michigan, and Chicago.
Children may also recognize that ch can make a kuh sound, as in the word school. Encourage them to come up with other examples, such as Christmas, stomach, ache, echo, chorus, chord, orchid, character, or even chameleon.
When children encounter a new word with this digraph, encourage them to use the ch as in chip sound first, since it’s the most common, to see if the word makes sense. If it doesn’t, encourage children to read it using the other sounds ch can make. But above all, encourage children to read more! Introduce them to new words in different contexts and inspire curiosity about language and reading.