Consonant Digraph Activities & Games

Instructor: Diane Sieverson

Diane has taught all subjects at the elementary level, was the principal of a K-8 private school and has a master's degree in Measurement and Evaluation.

This resource is designed to make teaching and learning consonant digraphs fun and effective. These games and activities will help give your students extra practice as they learn the sound each digraph makes.

Teaching Consonant Digraphs

Teaching consonant digraphs is an important component of explicit phonics instruction, and most students benefit from additional practice with these sounds. These games and activities are designed to supplement your instruction, helping students become more fluent readers.

Digraph Detective


  • Books at your students' reading levels
  • 1 pencil per student
  • 1 teacher-created worksheet per student
  • Police badge stickers (optional-may be found at online party supply companies)


  • Create a worksheet with the digraphs ch, sh, wh, ph and th at the top, with space below them in columns where students can write the words they find.
  • Write the digraphs ch, sh, wh, ph and th on the board and review the sound each makes. Ask students to give examples of words with these sounds, such as cheese, shoe, whale, phone and think. Write their answers on the board.
  • Explain that, just like police detectives look for clues, they are going to be detectives looking for words with ch, sh, wh, ph and th. They can use the books or any words they find in the classroom, including on posters, bulletin boards, etc. They will have 10 minutes to find and write as many digraphs as possible. You may shorten the time to make the activity more challenging as well.
  • They will then copy the words onto their worksheet under the correct digraph. The detective with the most correct words wins the game. The words must be spelled correctly and in the right column to get credit.
  • Call on students to read some of their words out loud to the class as time allows.
  • You may pass out detective stickers as a reward to all the students. You may also want to give a few extra credit points to the student(s) with the highest number of correct words.

Digraph Dunk


  • 5 inexpensive storage cubes or plastic bathroom trash cans
  • Notecards
  • Packing tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Laminator (optional)
  • Pictures of words that have digraphs (cut out from magazines or clip art printed off a computer)
  • Inexpensive pack of lightweight plastic balls (can be found at popular discount retailers)
  • Plastic bin to hold the balls

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