Just like vowel teams, consonant digraphs require special attention from both students and teacher alike. If you want a little help teaching consonant digraphs, get your students plugged into the worksheets Education.com has provided below. When it’s time to spice up their learning, use games and activities that highlight one of the best digraphs of all, the ‘pl’ in play.
Once students learn the main sounds associated with the consonants of the alphabet, they will realize that the 21 sounds they represent are a bit shy of the 44 sounds that make up the words in the English language. Many of these sounds are made by letter combinations like vowel and consonant digraphs.
The word digraph is made up of two parts. “Di” means two or twice, while “graph” means something that is written. While similar, digraphs are different from consonant blends, which are when the two individual sounds are both pronounced distinctly. A digraph is when two letters are used together to create a single new sound. This sound is either a diphthong or a monophthong.
Some consonant digraphs make already existing sounds:
The “wh” digraph makes the “w” sound as seen in where, when, and why.
The digraph of “gh” can be used to make the “g” sound as in ghost and ghoul, or the “f” sound as in rough and tough. It can also make no sound as seen in height.
The “ph” digraph also makes the “f” sound as in pharmacy and the word digraph itself.
Other digraphs make entirely new sounds:
SH - shell, shed, dash
CH - change, charge, bunch
TH - that, this, with, throttle
There are many consonant digraphs students will encounter as they increase their phonological awareness. Using the resources provided by Education.com above when working with students may help them gain understanding of these digraphs and how they are used.