Digraphs are pairs of letters that work together to create unique sounds. Understanding digraphs is an important part of a young reader’s reading journey since it allows them to see how two letters can work together to make a single sound. These digraph duos make sounds that appear frequently in the English language. It’s important for early readers to recognize and detect digraphs because they dictate pronunciation. Below, you’ll find printable digraph worksheets to practice these skills with your students.
Digraphs include: ‘sh,’ ‘ch,’ ‘wh,’ and ‘th’ and can be found in words like “ship,” “chop,” “whip,” and “thick.” They are formed when two letters come together and create a new sound that is different from the individual sounds of each letter. These combinations add complexity to our language, but can be a joy to learn, as they often appear in silly, tongue-twisting phrases. For instance, “She sells seashells by the seashore.”
Recognizing and mastering digraphs empowers readers to understand words more efficiently and read with added fluency. By blending the sounds seamlessly, they can more readily gain confidence in their reading abilities.
Through engaging word study activities, learning digraphs can be both enjoyable and appropriately challenging. Some of our favorite lessons include “Cut-and-Sort” lessons. These hands-on, visual exercises are appealing to many young learners. Furthermore, highlighting, pointing to, and pronouncing digraphs will aid a reader’s learning.
Regular practice with digraphs will expand a reader’s vocabulary and boost their overall comprehension. By exploring different words and texts that feature digraphs, readers are more likely to become adept at identifying and decoding these duos.
As with all learning, it’s important to express and instill patience, offer encouragement, reset as needed, and make time for celebration. With each activity, your reader will gain skills that can allow them to enjoy both reading and writing throughout their lives.