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Digraphs: Fun with letters

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Help cover Phase 3 of Letters and Sounds using activity sheets and interactive resources taken from Scholastic’s Literacy Skills books

Objectives: To learn some new grapheme-phoneme correspondences. To use ‘sound talk’ and segment words for spelling. To recognise, learn and apply some consonant digraphs and vowel digraphs.

Background knowledge

Grapheme-phoneme correspondence is a vital skill in learning to spell. Knowing that a sound is represented by certain letters will enable children to make an educated guess about how a word may be spelled.

The activities below pick out some correspondences that the children will be expected to know at this stage. At this time, the children are only expected to learn one representation of a phoneme. For example, the phoneme /ai/ is represented by the grapheme ‘ai’ at this stage; later on the children will learn that it can also be represented by ‘ay’ and ‘a-e’.


Sort the pictures

Before completing this activity, the children need to have had practice at saying, recognising and writing the letters that represent the phonemes. Read through the instructions and ‘sound talk’ the letters and the words that represent the objects.

Sort the pictures interactive resource.

Buzz, quack and yell!

This is a fun and noisy game to play with small groups. Before you begin, make sure that the children have had practice at saying, recognising and writing the letters that represent the phonemes. Cut out the cards from the activity sheet and place them face down. Explain that the children must yell, buzz or quack as each word is turned face up. Finish by ‘sound talking’ each word and putting it into a phoneme frame before covering it up, spelling it and checking it.

Buzz, quack and yell interactive resource.

sh or ch?

Introduce the activity with a circle game where the children chant ‘sh’ or ‘ch’ and then take turns to say a ‘sh’ or ‘ch’ word as you go around the circle. Provide each child with a copy of the activity sheet and ask them to fill in the gaps with ‘sh’ or ‘ch’.

sh or ch? interactive resource.

Rhyming fun

Work with a small group of children and give each child a activity sheet. Remind the children of the phonemes that the graphemes ‘oa’, ‘ee’ and ‘igh’ represent. Explain that the pictures are missing a rhyming caption which describes what is happening. Together, decide what the captions could be. Invite the children to write the caption (or scribe for those who need support). Challenge them to match the caption to the corresponding grapheme by drawing an arrow.

Rhyming fun interactive resource.

At the market

Display an enlarged version of the activity sheet and talk about the scene together. Invite the children to spot and have a go at spelling the ‘ar’ and ‘oo’ words. Give each child a activity sheet and suggest that they use two colours to colour the set of ‘oo’ objects and the set of ‘ar’ objects.

Further ideas

  • Hunt the grapheme: Focus on a particular grapheme and ask the children to find some examples of it.
  • Poem pondering: Look at some simple poems and talk about the rhyming words.


  1. Nycki
    on 17 April 2010

    Where is it?

    Noticing the article in the magazine I searched the back issue for may 09. Had to find it by putting the title in search. Often I stumble on good resources by accident. Your search facility is rather poor.

  2. Paula @scholastic
    on 19 March 2010


    Thanks for highlighting that issue. It wasn’t you it was us!

    We’ve fixed now. Let us know if you have any more issues.

  3. findus_jackson
    on 19 March 2010


    I can’t open this, I get a dialogue box saying needs to authenticate my username and password. When I enter them it denies me access. Does anyone else have this problem?