Following the alphabet, initial phonics sounds and CVC words, digraphs are the next step of phonics instruction. However the concept of digraphs, especially if coupled with learning consonant blends can be tricky for young learners. We have a selection of free digraph worksheets for download and use below.
Digraphs can be problematic for young learners coming so soon after initial sound and short vowel phonics instruction. A systematic approach introducing each digraph either alone or in pairs with substitution exercises, digraph worksheets, games and activities is most likely to lead to successful learning outcomes.
We have created these sets of printable digraph worksheets for teachers and parents to help their children and students grasp the rules around digraphs. These are listed at the bottom with images and you can click through to access them. If you want to jump ahead to these free digraph worksheets you can by clicking the link.
However we also have some tips on teaching digraphs on this page to help you use these digraph worksheets and the digraph games, both online and offline, that we have for you on the site as well.
What is a Digraph
A digraph is a combination of two letters that make a single sound. They can be constructed using both vowels and consonants. Consonant digraphs, technically called a consonant phoneme., are usually taught first due to the varied and sometimes problematic spelling – sound relationship of vowel digraphs.
For the purposes of this article we will concentrate on consonant digraphs. We actually have a larger more in depth article on digraphs here and more detailed instructions on how to teach if you need. Although we cover some ideas and resources on how to teach them in the next section as well.
|Consonant Digraph Examples||Example of words with digraphs|
|sh||shop, ship, shore, dish|
|ch||chop, chore, chat, church|
|soft th||three, throw, thread, bath|
|hard th||this, that, the, then|
|ss||miss, kiss, hiss,|
|ph||phone, alphabet, elephant|
|ng||ring, bang, flung,|
|wh||what, who, when, where|
FREE Digraph Worksheets
We have a selection of digraph worksheets below for you to download as you need. They are varied in their approach and include, coloring, matching, writing and word association. To get these digraph worksheets just click on the pictures below 🙂
These digraph worksheet sets include multiple worksheets with between 4 and 6 different worksheets in each download to cater for your classroom learner diversity.
4 Word Family Digraph Worksheets
Color the Digraph Worksheets
What’s the Digraph Worksheets
Which Digraph Worksheet
Find the Digraph Worksheet
Digraph Word Search
How to Teach Digraphs
As mentioned there can be difficulties when teaching digraphs. the combination of sounds to produce a new sound is confusing coming so soon after teaching initial phonic sounds. There Are many ways of teaching this, our free digraph worksheets are one way which we highlight in depth below, but there are many other ways to teach digraphs as well. these can include.
- Digraph Online games: we have a selection of digraph (and others on the site and in the link)
- Digraph Board games: These are great to do in class as teachers can move around and check how individual students are doing. We have a selection for free here too.
- Digraph Songs: Although there are much less digraph songs than Alphabet songs there are still some great ones out there.
- Digraph Videos: For visual learners there are full lessons to brief explanations on Youtube
- Digraph Worksheets and Written exercises: To consolidate and practice students use and pronunciation of digraphs
- Tongue Twisters: She sells, sea shells, and all the others help children learn the difference in sounds when they are put together in these fun to use tongue twisters.
as digraphs are likely to be introduced early in a childs school life the same approach as other subjects will be needed. Namely, keep it light, keep it fun, keep it focussed and keep is short.
- Using pictures and flashcards of sight words, or vocabulary words they will already now will help then identify the sound int he word they already can say. /Sh and, /ch/ are the prime examples of digraphs suited to this.
- Using repetition, through rhyming activities, poems or the tongue twisters above helps develop familiarity with the digraph sounds
- Remember that digraphs as a phonetic sound can appear anywhere in a word, beginning middle and end. Students should be able to distinguish the digraph sound in its initial, medial and final positions.
- After their CVC word construction practice,and using the short vowel sounds, it is not to much of a leap for them to move on to adding a digraph in front of the vowel, or at the end and trying to pronounce the word. hop – shop, hip – chip for example. That way they are only changing the targeted sound into a digraph sound.
When to Use Digraph Worksheets
We have the six sets of digraph worksheets for you above but just wanted to add a cautionary word about the use of worksheets, or more accurately the overuse of worksheets in classrooms. All to often they are seen as a replacement for good explanation and teaching, but they are not.
Children learn is different ways, and that is why we highlighted other ways to teach digraphs rather than just worksheet. However if you are looking for consolidation, assessment or even to create a referenceable portfolio in English or on Phonics then they will work just great. We have a full article on worksheet alternatives here.
These sets of digraph worksheets are designed to be accessible by preschool, kindergarten and grades one to three students. However we suggest that for native english speakers they should be introduced in grade one of at the end of kindergarten depending on the children’s progress, and for second language learners in grade 2 unless they have developed suitable phonics skills.
We also have hundreds of worksheet sets on phonics, grammar, reading and more ranging from preschool to high school. So i you found these digraph worksheet downloads useful lease check out our other resources as well.