Digraph Activities

Phonics, Spelling, & Grammar Resources

Looking for FUN Digraph Activities for your phonics teaching program? Then check these out! You’ll also get a quick guide to explain what digraphs are, and how and when to teach them to your kids!

A digraph is a combination of two letters that make a single sound like sh in shell or fish.

Digraph sounds are different to the individual sounds of the letters. They cannot be sounded out, which hinders reading fluency. 

Digraphs can be made up of vowels or consonants and are taught as part of phonics programs in Kindergarten, Reception, Preps and First Grade.

They are not found just at the beginning of words, they can also be in the middle or make the final sound in words too.

Learning to recognise digraphs will help young readers to develop fluency in reading.

Difference Between Digraphs and Blends

Digraphs and blends can easily be confused because both digraphs and blends consist of two letters to make a sound.

But there is a BIG difference between a digraph and blend…

A digraph contains two consonants and only makes one sound such as sh, /sh/. (ch, wh, th, ck)

A blend contains two consonants but they each make their own sound, such as /s/ and /l/, /sl/ (st, fl, sk, gr, sw, ect.)

Put simply each sound can be heard in a blend, but you cannot hear both letters in a digraph. No matter the type of Phonics Program you use, e.g. Letters and Sounds, Dianna Rigg, Jolly Phonics, Soundwaves, or Thrass, children should be shown that the same sound can be represented in a different way.  For example, pay, aim, grey, all have the /ai/ sound but they use a different digraph.

Consonant and Vowel Digraphs

Consonant digraphs are typically found at the beginning (initial) and end of words (final), here are some examples: ch, ck, kn, ph, sh, the, wh, wr

Vowel digraphs are typically found in the middle of words. (medial) They are made by two letters with at least one being a vowel, they are often known as vowel teams. Here are some examples: ai, ay, all, ea, ee, ie igh, oa, oe, oo, ow, ue, ui. They are often known as vowel teams.

Check out our Digraph Word Lists Below.

Consonant Digraph Word Lists

Here are some examples of Consonant digraphs digraphs used in our resources:

Initial ch Digraph Words List
chair, chalk, cheese, cherry, chest, chicken, chick, chain, cheek, chimney, chips, chirp, chocolate, church, chin, chilli, cheetah
Initial sh Digraph Words List
shamrock, shark, sheep, shell, shirt, shoe, shovel, shut, shower, shop, share, shadow, shrimp, shirt, ship, shelf
Initial th Digraph Words List
thermos, thirteen, three, thorn, thread, three, throne, thumb, think, thief, thermometer, throw, thirsty, theatre
Initial kn Digraph Words List
knapsack, knee, knife, knight, knit, knot, knuckle, knock, knob, kneel, knead
Initial ph Digraph Words List
pharaoh, phase, pheasant, phone, photo, pharmacy, photocopier, photographer
Initial wh Digraph Words List
whale, wheat, wheel, wheelbarrow, whisk, whisker, whistle, wheelchair, white, whisper, who
Initial wr Digraph Words List
wrapper, wrap, wrinkle, wrist, write, wrong, wrinkle, wring, wrench, wreck, wreath
Final ch Digraph Words List
bench, branch, peach, torch, watch, witch, arch, beach, couch, inch, launch, pinch, pouch, punch, sandwich
Final ck Digraph Words List
brick, chick, clock, duck, sock, truck, back, deck, neck, pack, peck, puck, sack, sick, shack, snack, backpack, crack, quack, trick, stick, kick, lick, knock
Final sh Digraph Words List
brush, bush, cash, crash, dish, fish, lash, mash, push, rash, rush, leash, wish, squish, trash, raddish
Final ng Digraph Words List
fang, ring, sling, sting, swing, wing, hang, king, long, lung, string. sing, strong
Final th Digraph Words List
bath, math, moth, mouth, sloth, tooth, wreath, booth, cloth, earth, path, south, teeth, tooth, sloth

Vowel Digraph Word Lists

Here are some examples of Vowel digraphs used in our resources:

ai Vowel Team Digraph Words
drain, mail, nail, pail, stain, trail, maid, rain, sail, tail, train, snail, paint, brain
all Vowel Team Digraph Words
call, fall, mall, stall, wall, ball, hall, small, tall
ay Vowel Team Digraph Words
bay, clay, lay, play, pray, spray, hay, pay, ray, say, tray
ea Vowel Team Digraph Words
leaf, clean, beach, tea, team, sea, peach, eat, meat, teacher, neat, steam, bean, heat, pea, read, bead
ee Vowel Team Digraph Words
bee, knee, see, three, tree, cheese, feet, seed, steep, sweep, beet, deer, feed, green, heel, peek, peel, sleep, weed, wheel
ie Vowel Team Digraph Words
pie, tie, die, lie, genie, cookie, tied, tried, field, friend, pier, tier, flies, fries, cries, thief, dries, fried, tied, piece
igh Vowel Team Digraph Words
knight, light, lightning, night, thigh, fight, flight, height, high, right, tight
oa Vowel Team Digraph Words
boat, coal, coat, float, goat, loaf, road, soap, toad, toast, coach, moat
oe Vowel Team Digraph Words
doe, aloe, canoe, potatoes, joey, oboe, toe, hoe, tomatoes
oo Vowel Team Digraph Words
bamboo, book, boot, broom, coop, hood, wood, drool, food, foot, hook, look, moon, pool, roof, room, shampoo, shook, stool, zoo, balloon, boot, broom, spoon
ow Vowel Team Digraph Words
blow, bow, bowl, crow, glow, grow, mow, snow, arrow, crow, row
ue Vowel Team Digraph Words
barbeque, clue, cue, argue, blue, fondue, fuel, glue, statue, tissue

Digraph Activities

We have a MEGA collection of Digraph teaching resources that we created by separate letter combinations. We also have some MIxed digraph games for students to learn beginning and ending digraph letter combinations at the same time. Click the images below to get started!

Related: Digital Online Digraph Games

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