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Home » Blog » Literacy » Phonics » Teaching Kids About Consonant Blends and Digraphs

Teaching Kids About Consonant Blends and Digraphs

Literacy, Phonics, Spelling & Word Work

Written by: Mary Kate Bolinder

For young readers, blends and digraphs can trip them up while reading. What’s up with that jumble of letters at the beginning of a word, anyway? In this post, we will take a closer look at consonant blends and digraphs, and how to teach them to second grade learners.

What are consonant blends and digraphs?

blends versus digraphs anchor chart

A blend is a group of two or more consonants together, in which each letter can be heard. A blend comes before or after a vowel.

The most common examples of blends in the English language are:

L Blends: bl, cl, fl, gl, pl, sl

R Blends: br, cr, dr, fr, gr, pr, tr

S Blends: sc, sk, sl, sp, st, sw

A digraph is a group of two consonants that work together to make a single sound, or phoneme.

Digraph examples: ch, ph, sh, th, wh

There are also a few consonant clusters that can be found at the end of a word. These include: ct, ft, lt, lk, lp, lt, mp, nd, nt, pt, xt

A classroom sound wall can help students recall phonemes and their spellings. You can check out our classroom sound wall setup here.

Teaching Consonant Blends and Digraphs in 2nd Grade

sp blends decodable phonics passage called "wasp swat"

Once you start looking, consonant blends and digraphs are everywhere! A great way to introduce blends and digraphs is with our decodable phonics mats. Students will read along, identify the spelling pattern, and also answer comprehension questions. This is a great resource for whole class, small group, or independent review. Students can also keep a copy of this helpful blends phonics sound chart for their own review.

common consonant blends student reference chart

Phonics Day by Day is a daily 2nd grade phonics worksheet with 5 days of spiral consonant blends practice that can be used as a reading center or for small group instruction or homework.

Consonant Blends and Digraphs Activities, Centers, and More!

Hands-On Centers for Blends and Digraphs

Hungry to learn more about blends? Give this hands-on Smoothie Stand Center a try! Students will use a spinner to match pictures and words to create new blend words. This is available in print or digital format!

consonant l blends smoothie stand phonics center

For final blends practice, give this center a try! Students will identify words with final ending blends then write the correct words for the pictures on ladder pieces.

top of the kingdom phonics center to practice reading and spelling words with final consonant blends

Looking for a digital center? Students can use their personal devices to complete this picture word hunt for digraph words. Students will then arrange the words in a sentence to solve the clues. You can check out our digital digraph center here.

Digital phonics center to practice digraphs called "consonant digraphs sentence search and find"

Videos to Teach Consonant blends and digraphs

This video mixes blends and digraphs together. Use this for review when you have introduced both concepts independently.

Are you ready to give these activities a try? Tell us your favorite way to introduce blends and digraphs in the comments below!

How to Teach other 2nd Grade Phonics Concepts

Ready to teach another phonics skill? We’ve got a post for that!

Hard & Soft C/G

Multisensory Phonics Activities

Consonant Blends and Digraphs

Silent Letters

Short Vowels

Long Vowels

Vowel Teams

Teaching Vowel Teams

Diphthongs

Inflected Endings

Syllable Patterns/Multisyllabic Words

How to Introduce the 6 Syllable Types

Contractions

New & Fun Ways to Teach Contractions

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Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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