Activities for teaching phonics digraphs

Written by ashley black
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Activities for teaching phonics digraphs
Using activities to teach phonics digraphs is an effective teaching method. (Katy McDonnell/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Many students learn best by performing tasks for themselves rather than simply hearing their teacher talk about a new topic. In language especially, activities can be essential in helping students better understand the topics discussed in lessons. Phonics digraphs, which are single sounds represented by two letters such as "oo" or "ch.," can be difficult to grasp in early learning. Having students perform activities with digraphs may be beneficial.


Assigning worksheets after a phonics lesson is a good way to help students practice what they've just learnt. For example, hand out a worksheet that asks students to fill in the missing digraph in common words. You may want to assign themed worksheets to begin with, like a worksheet that deals only with "ch/sh" digraphs, to avoid confusion on tasks like filling in the digraph to complete the word.

Card Games

Use digraph flash cards to play card games. Games are a great way to reinforce learning, especially when you adapt the lesson into a game children already know. Use digraph cards to play games like "Go Fish" and "Memory." Ask students to reflect on what they learnt about vowels and consonants during the game to ensure that they're practicing what they learnt during the lesson.

Word Search

Hand out a word search. Have students search for words that contain digraphs such as "ck," "sh," "oa," and "ai." Students can work individually or in small groups for this activity, or you can even do the word search as a class by using an overhead projector and asking students to raise their hands when they locate words that contain digraphs.

Reading Activities

Reading activities help students rehearse their knowledge of phonics digraphs in a practical setting. Read a text passage out loud and ask students to identify digraphs that they hear. For example, read an age-appropriate poem out loud to the class and have students clap every time they hear a "ch" digraph.

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