On a Roll With Digraphs

On a Roll With Digraphs lesson plan

Phonemic awarenes is fun with this word game!

  • 1.

    Phonemes are the smallest unit of sound in the English language. They can be made up of one, two, or three letters. When two letters represent one phoneme, it is called a digraph. Common digraphs include wh, th, sh, ch, and ph. During a study of digraphs, students create a game cube including each of the five digraphs. The sixth side will be a "wild" side.

  • 2.

    Using recycled file folders, students draw six large circles using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Within each circle, students draw a square whose corners all touch the sides of the circle. Have children cut out the six circles using Crayola Scissors. As a time-saver, consider providing students with six circles already cut out.

  • 3.

    Inside five of the 6 squares, students will write a digraph in large letters. This can be done with Crayola Gel Markers. Remember the sixth side will be the "wild" side where players who roll this side will select any digraph. Encourage students to decorate each circle's edges to the four edges that remain to form the cube.

  • 4.

    Students fold the lines forming each square upward. They may erase the fold lines if so desired. Placing one circle face down on its edges, students select one edge from each of the four other circles to glue to the edges of the circle facing down. Crayola Glue Sticks can assist with accomplishing this task. Glue one edge to its adjoining edge to form a square. Attach the remaining circle's edges to the four edges that remain to form the cube.

  • 5.

    It's now time to play! Organize students into small groups. Students roll their cubes, identifying the digraph that appears at the top of the cube. The student that rolled the cube identifies a word that contains the digraph. The group makes a list of all words proposed during the play period. They may choose to organize their contributions into lists with the digraph at the top of the list.


  • LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding words.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.