Consonant Digraphs

What are they?

Consonant digraphs are two consonants that come together to make a sound. We already studied about blends in our previous blog (insert link here-Blends). The learner must know the difference between blends and digraphs. Both in blends and digraphs two letters come together, but in blending they make two different sounds while in digraphs they make a single sound.


Several words in English language use consonant digraphs, for this reason, they form an important lesson while learning phonics. Young learners who have learned the basic sounds and able to utter them correctly now should be able to recognize the digraphs and be able to make the single sound for every digraph.

How do we start about?

As we are following the Katelyn’s Phonic Progression (insert link here- Phonic Progression), consonant digraphs occupy three weeks of the teaching period. Refer to the blog to get the detailed order.

-Make a chart
An example of a detailed chart has been posted below. We can see that the chart is very elaborative. The teacher can print this one or make one according to his/her convenience. Keep it pictorial and colorful. This will make the learners get attracted to it and learn better. The teacher can paste this chart on the classroom wall. Using a ruler or pointer you can drill the digraph sounds and repeat the process.

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Start off with an example on the board. For instance, you have chosen the word- ‘match’. Write it out on the board and ask the class to pronounce it. Now break it down into parts and write as mentioned in the picture below. Show the learners how words are formed with parts and how ‘ch’ is a consonant digraph. Continue the same with few other examples such as chin (ch-i-n), think (th-i-nk), chat (ch-a-t), whim (wh-i-m), etc.

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Strategies to be used

-Give the class a list of words having consonant digraphs and let them break it down into smaller bits. Show them how to identify the consonant digraphs. Make sure you start off with simpler examples and progress to slightly difficult words. An example is mentioned below.

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The learners need to understand that it is not necessary for the digraph to be present only at the beginning of the word. It could be present anywhere in the word. Although, for an easier understanding, the teacher should always begin with simple examples where the digraph is present at the beginning of the word. Later move on to slightly difficult words where the digraph may be present in the middle or end of the words. An example has been mentioned as follows.

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Snake sounds
Snake sounds is an interesting board game for practicing consonant digraphs. The following image can be printed out or you can use your creativity to make this easy board game.

How to play?
The learner puts his/her marker or playing pieces on the start point of the board game. Here, at the mouth of the snake. The learners take turns in throwing the dice depending on which, they keep moving the spaces on the board game. They have to utter the sound of the block/ the digraph that they land on and give one example for it. To make this game a little more interesting, stars have been added in the middle. Landing on a star would mean to take another turn. Keep going until the end and the first player to land on the end/ the tail first, wins.

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-Put the Coin in the Cup
This is a very simple home-made game that can be played by learners either at home or in the classroom. This game is for ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, ‘wh’ digraphs. Although, the teacher or parent can add more cups with more number of digraphs. Make paper coins with different images of objects on it and jumble all the coins. Now the learner has to put the coins in the right cup. Make it a multiplayer game and make the game more interesting.

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-Complete the Flower
The Flower game is very simple. The teacher has to make cuttings of flower petals and write different words on it. The center of the flower will have the digraph written on it. The learner has to attach the right petals to the right center and complete the flower. Make sure the learners are uttering the digraph sounds while attaching the petals.

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-Fill in the blanks
This is another simple classroom activity where the learners fill in the blank boxes with the appropriate images that are mentioned below. Make more such worksheets and let the learners have fun. One such worksheet has been mentioned below.

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Online games

This game is called Phonics Game by soft The rules of the game are pretty simple. The learners have to fill in the blank spaces by recognizing the mentioned image. Make sure the learners are uttering the sound as they fill in the spaces. The words of the examples should be said out loud.

This game is by and is called consonant blends. The player has to select a character insect initially in the game and then select the sounds he/she wants to play with. Then the player has to rotate the compass and a digraph will be allotted. It should be matched with the right word and the cord will be completed. More such correct word will give more points to the player. The player who reaches the end point first, wins.

A space setting game where the player has to launch the planes by completing them. The two halves have the digraph sounds and the player has to match them. The completed words will be awarded points.


This video is called Teaching Consonant Digraphs by Julie Van Alst. This video explains how to teach consonant diagraphs using action sounds and demonstrations. The teacher makes use of smaller cards and images in order to teach consonant digraphs. It is important for the teacher to repeat the sounds. This will help them in memorizing the sounds.

This link is to a video called the digraph song by 625EJS on YouTube. This diagraph song can be played in the classroom and repeated. The learners can repeat after the voice demonstration in the video. The video mentions a lot of examples of consonant digraph words in a rhyming pattern which helps in better memorization.

This link is to a video called Phonics fun for sounds sh, ch, th, ng by Unik EduSolution on YouTube. The video is animated and a young learner is asking questions and his doubts are cleared in this video. The video also explains as to how the shape of the mouth should be while producing the digraph sounds.



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