Complex Consonants Activities & Games

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Increase student usage and understanding of complex consonants using fun games and activities. This lesson offers ideas you can use for students of varying levels in small group, whole class and independent settings.

Complex Consonants, Simplified

Sometimes, things are a bit more complicated than they need to be. This is often the case with grammar and spelling. We give sounds names like 'complex consonants,' which can be intimidating to students, when in reality we're just naming a sound they've been making all along. Sounds like /thr/ in words like 'throw' or 'through' can be tough to spell, but with a little practice you can help students unlock the code.

Helping students learn and understand grammar and spelling is best approached by breaking it down and making it fun and simple. These games and activities are all about that.

Match Game

Students can make and play this game using index cards and markers; store the game cards in zipper bags for easy access. We'll teach you how to play as a whole group, but feel free to modify this game for partners or small groups.


  • Index cards
  • Markers


  • Brainstorm a list of 12 words that contain complex consonants with students and record on the board.
  • Now give students two index cards (if you have 24 students; if you have a different number of students, adjust the number of words accordingly) and assign each one word.
  • Have the student write the complex consonant on one card and the remaining letters of the word on the other. For example, 'throw' will be written 'thr' and 'ow.'
  • Collect cards and redistribute face down on students' desks.
  • On your go, have students try to find the student with the other half of their word.
  • Have partners stand together and make the sounds of the word, blending together to check.

Spin a Complex Consonant

This game helps students identify complex consonants and think of one independently to match. Play can include small groups or pairs.


  • Paper plates
  • Brads
  • Scissors
  • Construction paper
  • Index cards
  • Markers

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