Kids learn to read consonant digraph words in kindergarten. First, beginners learn short vowels: a_ (as in words like hat, Pam), i_ (as in him, sit), o_ (as in hot, mop), u_ (as in run, bug), and e_(as in hen, pet).
Next, kids practice these simple short vowel cvc words quite a lot, gain some fluency with them and then move on to learn consonant digraphs.
Reading Elephant has a printable consonant digraph book series that we will be expanding on. The new printable books will be up in our shop soon and will make our library quite extensive.
In this post, I’ll outline kindergarten consonant digraph words that can help you plan your lessons.
When creating word lists, be sure to use interleaving. The term interleaving comes from the field of Cognitive Science. In sum, interleaving means mixing old material (that the child has already learned) in with new material. This ensures the student does not guess, as she can never know what sound pattern will come next. In addition, interleaving allows your student to stay strong in old content. Reading Elephant printable phonics books use interleaving to help build strong decoding skills.
Here is a sample consonant digraph list with interleaving:
1. chop 2. hat 3. ship 4. then 5. hop 6. rug 7. shell 8. bath 9. hut 10. Ben 11. this 12. match 13. rich 14. cop 15. yak 16. hug 17. wish 19. Thad 20. pitch
Notice how the above list includes a variety of word types, including simple cvc short vowel words like “hop.” Be sure to create lists that vary like this to encourage sound-by-sound decoding.
However, don’t incorporate long vowels or other sound patterns your student has not learned yet into your list. You can only present material your student has learned systematically. Thus, words like “share” and “chase” should NOT be included. Only short vowels should be included. If your student has not learned /ank/ yet, don’t include words like “thank” in the list yet.
To help you make your consonant digraph lists for reading lessons, feel free to peruse this post. Kindergartners need to learn all consonant digraph sounds by the end of the year.
Consonant digraph words for sh as in wish…
ship, shell, shut, shrug, shed, rash, dash, mash, shin, cash, mesh, hush, wish, bash, fish, shad, sham, shot, dish, posh, sash, lash, gush, hash, fresh, shift, shred, shock, shred, plush, slash, stash, shunt, shush, blush, crash, crush, flash, trash
th as in bath
math, bath, path, thin, with, hath, moth, Seth, Beth, pith, thud, cloth, theft, sloth, thick, think, width, broth, thing, froth, wrath, thank, fifth, sixth, thrash
th as in then
this, then, that
ch as in chop
chug, chop, chill, chin, chit, chat, chess, Chad, chick, check, chomp, chest, Chuck, champ, chant, chimp, pinch, finch, hunch, munch, lunch
_tch as in batch
match, witch, pitch, batch, catch, fetch, latch, patch, glitch, sketch,
_ck as in deck
deck, luck, rack, sack, back, lack, tack, hack, Vick, wick, pick, muck, sick, lick, tick, tock, rock, Rick, peck, Beck, Mick, neck, kick, slick, flick, stick, slack, track, black, pluck, brick, speck
_ing as in king
king, sing, ring, thing, ding, wing, ping, cling, spring, fling, bring, swing, sting, string
_ng as in song
long, song, lung, wrong, sung, hung, dung, pong, rung, clung
_ang as in sang
tang, bang, fang, sang, rang, hang, clang,
wh_ as in when
when, whim, wham, whop
_ink as in pink
pink, think, link, sink, rink, wink, drink, blink, clink, brink, stink
_ank as in bank
bank, tank, sank, Hank, Frank
qu_ as in quick
quick, quit, quest, quell, quack
Consonant digraph sounds are in even more words than this, but the above words include only Kindergarten sounds. I hope this helps you create your Kindergarten level lesson.
For consonant digraph books, check out our printable phonics books.
To learn more about systematic phonics instruction, check out the Hard Words podcast.