Digraphs need a little special attention for young language learners. Take advantage of these Education.com worksheets to help your child master the pronunciation of digraphs such as “th,” “sh,” and “ch.” After tackling these, your child will be ready for first grade reading and writing resources that teach short vowel sounds, as well as expand their digraph vocabulary list.
As students study the alphabet and begin to gain the foundations of phonological awareness, they will realize that the 26 letters of the alphabet are unable to produce the 44 sounds necessary in the English language. They must understand that some letters make different sounds depending on the situation. Some letters even make completely new sounds when paired with another letter. These combinations are called digraphs.
The word digraph means literally two of something written. It is important to distinguish the difference between a blend and a digraph. A blend is when two letters are put together and you hear both sounds. A digraph is when two letters are put together and you hear one, potentially new, sound. Some of the more common digraphs are:
Ch - The digraph “ch” has two possible sounds. Sometimes it make a “k” sound. Other times it make a new sound as in chess and march.
Sh - The digraph “sh” makes a new sound as heard in fish and marsh.
Th - The digraph “th” will make one of two new sounds. These can be heard in works like this and thimble.
Gh - The digraph “gh” can either make the “g” sound like in ghost, the “f” sound as heard in rough or tough, or it can be silent as in height and fright.
Using the charts and exercises provided above by Education.com may give you the ability to work with your students on vowel and consonant digraphs with enough variety to keep them engaged.