1-1-1 Spelling Rules: -tch
Another 1-1-1 spelling rule is the -tch spelling rule. When should a student use -tch at the end of a word versus ch when spelling the /ch/ sound? If a word is one syllable, one short vowel, with one /ch/ sound at the end of the word, it’s spelled with -tch (match, pitch). Otherwise, you will most likely use ch to spell the /ch/ sound (church, cinch).
Students should use the below criteria when deciding which letter to use when spelling the /ch/ sound at the end of a word:
- Is it a one-syllable word?
- Does it have a single short vowel?
- Does it end in a /ch/ sound?
If a student answers ‘yes’ to all 3 questions, then the /ch/ sound should be spelled -tch. If they answer ‘no’ to one or more of the questions, then it will most likely be spelled ch.
A great way to practice is to ask students about various words and decide if it meets the criteria. For example:
- “Church? Why or why not?” Answer: No, does not have a short vowel sound (Bossy R).
- “Match? Why or why not?” Answer: Yes, has one syllable, one short vowel, and /ch/ at the end.
- “Birch? Why or why not?” Answer: No, does not have a short vowel sound (Bossy R).
What about words such as: such, rich, much and which, etc? We consider these words to be Red Words and should be taught through a multi-sensory technique which we call armtapping. Research why these might be irregular by looking them up on www.etymonline.com.