Do you want to teach your students three different ways to spell the /ch/ sound but don’t know where to start? Most second-grade students are familiar with the “ch” spelling of the /ch/ sound, but they haven’t been explicitly taught the “tu” or “tch” spellings. The “tch” spelling is easier for me to think about because the rule is so clear, but the “tu” spelling is actually a lot more common. Read on to check out all of these ch spelling patterns!
We spell the /ch/ sound “ch” at the beginning of words and after long or r-controlled vowels. It is the most common spelling of the /ch/ sound.
The “tu” spelling is the second most common spelling of the /ch/ sound. It usually comes at the beginning of an unstressed syllable. (I have not gone over stressed and unstressed syllables with my second graders yet, but I couldn’t think of another way to list the rule.)
The “tch” spelling of the /ch/ sound usually comes after a short vowel sound. One big exception I found right away to this rule was sandwich.