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How to Teach the CH and SH to Young Kids

I am a certified teacher and have been tutoring young children for more than 30 years. I am sharing my experience in the tutorial business.

Let the kids feel their vocal chords.

Let the kids feel their vocal chords.

The sh and ch digraphs

After the l and r blends come the ch and sh. The sound of sh is sssh sssh while the sound of ch is tsh, since ch is a combination sound of t and sh. Some call ch the sneeze sound since the sound is similar to the sound of someone sneezing. The young kids will understand you more if you tell them that the ch sound is like the sound of a sneeze.

To make the lesson more fun for the kids, you can tell them to follow you as you pretend to sneeze; “aaah-chooo- aaah-chooo- aaah-chooo.”

Children learn more with actual participation. When they follow you as you pretend to sneeze, their retention about the sound of ch will be enhanced. If you provide more activities for the children, the more they will learn about what you are teaching.

I only teach the initial and final ch and sh to the young kids to make the lesson simple and more comprehensible for the young children. They will increase their knowledge about the consonant blends as they go to the higher level of education.

When you teach the initial and final sh and ch; explain to the children that the sound is at the beginning or at the end of the word. You have to let them listen to the beginning or ending sound as you say the words so that they will understand what is initial and final sound.

It is also helpful if you use comparison and contrast. Say for example: the initial sound is at the beginning and the final sound is at the end of the word. Give some examples and explain what beginning and final sound means by illustrating it for the kids to see. The way you present the lesson is a big factor in bringing about effective learning for the kids.

The Ch and Sh digraph:


Final ch and sh:

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Activities for sh and ch digraphs

When teaching ch and sh; it is important to emphasize on the sound of both consonant blends. If the children know how to sound out the blends and combine them with the vowel sounds, they will learn to read the words beginning with ch and sh.

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As the children go on reading, their vocabulary will increase every day. You will be surprised to hear them read words that you haven’t taught them to read. That is because they learned their basic reading skills and every day they are already learning new words.


Choral Reading

As I have explained in my previous articles; choral reading is an effective way of teaching children to read. This activity develops fluency of reading and boosts confidence in children who cannot read very well. It will also polish reading skills of the children since you do reading every day.

Copy the Words

Copying should be part of the daily activities. When children copy what they have learned, they automatically register the lessons in their memory. This is why, if the children copy every day, the more they understand about the lesson taught to them.

Story Time

Story time is one way of teaching more words with ch and sh blends to the children. This activity is an interesting one and the children will be more attentive to the lesson. Remember to always ask questions about the story when you are done reading the story.

If the words are simple and the story is short; it is always better to let the children read the story. Of course, you have to relate the story again with explanation.


Think of a game that will enhance the lesson about ch and sh. You can have a contest too. Children love contests because they like to see how good they are.

Paper Works

Paper works are good. You can find out how far the children have understood the lesson if you give them paper works to work on. This activity will hone further the skills of the children.

All the activities mentioned above will sum up for a better, fun and productive teaching that will result in a more effective learning.

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