Consonant Digraph Series 2 Now Available! I’m very proud to release my consonant digraph book series. These phonics stories for kindergarten introduce phonics sounds progressively. They are ideal for beginning readers or struggling readers at the Kindergarten level.
The pictures in this set are professionally done: they’re cute, funny, and add so much personality to the stories. In these phonics stories for kindergarten, kids can systematically master consonant digraphs. To help prepare your student, here are the consonant digraphs listed in order:
sh as in wish
th as in bath
th as in then
ch as in chop
_tch as in batch
_ck as in deck
_ing as in king
_ng as in long
_ang as in sang
wh_ as in when
Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten series 2 is NOW AVAILABLE
Many phonics stories for Kindergarten contain words that are too difficult for struggling readers. Reading Elephant Series 2 only incorporates words at the Kindergarten level. This way, students can read accurately and confidently.
All Reading Elephant books are carefully crafted to teach explicit, systematic phonics. With code-based learning, kids can learn incrementally and gently progress to the next level. Kids can master phonics sounds one at a time.
Code-based learning is ideal for the 30-40% of children that struggle with reading, including dyslexic students. When kids learn to read, they are cryptographers cracking a code. Reading Elephant introduces a piece of the code a bit at a time. In sum, the books allow kids to practice the part of the code they know.
Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten build confidence, fluency, accuracy and set kids on the path of independent reading.
So far, kids have loved the fun, silly pictures!
If your student knows letter sounds and short vowels, she is ready for the consonant digraph series.
The consonant digraph series includes:
-11 easy-to-use books
-the most common consonant digraphs
-a systematic phonics approach
-code-based learning (teaches sound-by-sound reading skills)
-limited sight words
-fun, playful pictures
-only the most common sight words
-a path toward independent reading
In kindergarten, kids need to master letter sounds. At first, kids only say the short vowel sounds:
a_ as in apple
e_ as in elephant
i_ as in igloo
o_ as in octopus
u_ as in up
Sample Kindergarten Reading Level Texts
Letter sounds and short vowels allow kids to read short vowel words like: Pat, sit, fun, cat, pet, dog, dug, sun…etc. In beginning kindergarten decodable texts look like the following:
The dog ran to the cat. The cat ran to the mat. On the mat, the cat had a nap.
As kids build fluency, they learn consonant digraphs. Phonics stories for kindergarten with consonant digraphs look like the following:
Shell had a fish shop. The sun was up. Shell ran to the dock. She got on the ship. “I will catch some fish,” said Shell. On the deck, Shell had a big net. She got a lot of fish. “I will sell the fish,” said Shell.
Notice how the student is forced to use phonics-based sound-by-sound reading methods. The text is not predictable and guessable. Decodable texts like the sample above build a strong reading foundation.
Although short vowel books are a bit easier to find, consonant digraph books are much harder to find. Consonant digraph books are critical for reading success. They allow kindergartners to practice some of the most common phonics sounds.
What are consonant digraphs?
Consonant digraphs are two or more letters that make one sound.
t and h make th.
S and h make sh.
Consonant digraphs are common. Since they’re so common, Kindergarten students need to master consonant digraphs before entering first grade. Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten teach consonant digraphs early on.
What are the most common consonant digraphs?
The most common consonant digraphs are: sh, th, ch, _tch, _ck, _ing, _ng, _ang, wh_. These are the consonant digraphs in the Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten. Are there more consonant digraphs? Yes!
There are many consonant digraphs in English. However, not all of them are common enough to teach. In essence, you don’t want your struggling reader hung up on the gh unit. It’s not common enough. It’s also too erratic to teach as a phonics sound.
In sum, focus on the most common consonant digraphs so your struggling reader can get to blends and long vowels—the real meat of decoding. Our phonics stories for kindergarten focus only on the most common consonant digraphs that allow your student to make meaningful progress.
Why does English contain so many consonant digraphs?
Congratulations and I’m sorry…if you’re here, you’re student has to learn to read one the most erratic, difficult European languages. Learning to speak English is not necessarily more difficult, but learning to read it definitely is.
Why is English so difficult to learn to read? English is borrowed from many languages, including German, Latin, French, Ancient Greek, Dutch… am I missing any? The various influences on English are visible in our written code. When we borrow words from other languages we often don’t bother to change their spelling significantly. This is one reason we have so many consonant digraphs. The “rh” digraph, for example, comes from Latin.
Also, English is spoken throughout the world in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, parts of Africa and many islands. Since it is spoken throughout the world, there are many dialects. As a result, over time, many consonant digraphs emerged.
Teach the Most Common Consonant Digraphs
It’s not a good idea to teach all consonant digraphs. All of them will overwhelm your student. If you teach all of them, you’re student will experience a reading stasis, wherein they don’t make meaningful progress for too long. You don’t want your student spending a week studying a digraph that only exists in a handful of uncommon words. Furthermore, you don’t want her learning a consonant digraph that won’t offer meaningful results.
Many reading programs, often really popular ones, teach so many consonant digraphs, kids don’t move along for a great while. They’re stuck learning digraphs that are in just a handful of words!
Focus only on the consonant digraphs that are common. Again, the common ones are: sh, th, ch, _tch, _ck, _ing, _ng, _ang, wh_.
Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten focus only on those consonant digraphs that will propel you’re student to the next level.
What are some consonant digraph words?
There are many consonant digraph words. Consonant digraphs are everywhere. They’re in simple words like “ship, catch, and deck” and complicated words like “perishable, achievement and thanksgiving.” In addition, they’re in long vowel words like “shape, cheetah and thrive.”
Consonant digraphs are sprinkled throughout the English language. However, only the common ones are everywhere. The rest are rare.
When teaching consonant digraphs, focus only on what you’re student knows. Don’t teach words like “perishable.” Focus on words like “ship.” Select only kindergarten level short vowel words like the ones listed below.
cash, bash, ship, wish, fish, lash, posh, dish
then, bath, math, this, thin, Thad
chop, chill, chit chat, rich, batch, Mitch, catch, witch, ditch
kick, tick, tock, lock, rock, deck, dock, peck
ring, king, sing, song, long, sang, rang, bang
The Reading Elephant phonics stories for kindergarten only focus on the above word types. Why? The books incrementally introduce new phonics sounds. More complex word types can wait.
Reading Elephant books gently introduce new phonics sounds. In sum, kids can read books at their unique level.
Teach Continuous and Stop Sounds
If you’ve read my posts before, you know as a teacher, you have to pay special attention to whether sounds are continuous or stop sounds. Continuous sounds are sounds you can hold for a long time like, “mmmmm.” Stop sounds are sounds that have to be said quickly, as to avoid adding an “uh.” D, b and c are a few stop sounds.
Be sure you’re student holds the following consonant digraphs:
sh as in wish
th as in bath
th as in then
What if my student has pronunciation problems?
If you’re student has pronunciation problems, she’ll probably struggle with the “th” sounds. With /th/, teach the student that the tip of the tongue touches the top teeth. Have her place her hand on her voice box.
TEACHER: say thhhhh (as in then).
TEACHER: Notice how you can feel your voice vibrate. You’re making sounds.
TEACHER: Now say thhhh (as in math)
TEACHER: Notice how your voice is still and silent. You’re just breathing out. These are the two /th/ sounds. With one, you use your voice. With the other, your voice is silent.
What comes after consonant digraphs?
After consonant digraphs, students learn blends. For example, cr, fl, sp, tr, gr are some examples of blends. There are many blends. When students learn blends, they are NOT learning a new phonics unit. Instead, they’re learning to say two letter sounds in a row.
Since you put all that work into teaching your student to hold continuous sounds and clip stop sounds, you’re student should transition well into blends.
I am very proud to release my consonant digraph series 2. I’m excited to share them with you all.