Blends and Digraphs
Students will recognize the difference between consonant blends and consonant digraphs and remember that consonant combinations with “h" are usually digraphs.
Ask students what would happen if they painted one line of red paint and then added a second line of blue paint. (Each color would still be visible.) Point out that this is like consonant blends: when pronounced, each letter’s sound is still heard. Generate a brainstorming list of words containing consonant blend in different positions in words. “Seed" the list with plate, flag, string, apple, waffle, castle, first, or clasp.
Now ask students what happens when you mix the red and blue paints together before making lines on the page. (A new color--purple--is created.) Help students recognize that this is what happens with digraphs: two or more consonants are written together to make a new sound in which you do not hear the individual sounds of the letters. Again, generate a list of examples, using shout, thing, chat, phone, or where as starting points. Point out that, when the second of a consonant pair is an “h," the set is usually a digraph.
Practice and Assessment:
Provide students with a mixed list of words that include blends or digraphs. Students cut the words out and paste them into columns on a table to indicate whether the word contains a blend or a digraph.
Extend the lesson by asking students to write poems or songs to explain blends or digraphs by using examples of each.