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Step 2: Blends & Digraphs

4h Brothers th, sh, wh, ch poster
4h Brothers wh, sh, ch, th
Beginning blends poster
Beginning Blends
Ending Blends Poster
End Blends

Definitions:
Digraphs are two letters that make one sound like -ng, -nk, kn, gn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn

Trigraphs are three letters representing one sound like -dge, -tch
4h Brothers are the digraphs ch, th, wh, sh. Each digraph makes a unique single sound.

Blends are 2 or 3 consonants whose sounds blend together, yet retain each individual sound.

– The Blends and 4h Brothers (th, sh, ch, wh) need to be recognized as quickly and immediately.  Learning the blends also helps students begin to read in chunks (rather than letter by letter).  This will help later when breaking big words into syllables. Add the 4h brothers to the letters in the sounds pack you are practicing every day! 

As the learner is working on the sounds for the 4h brothers and the blends, some teachers also choose to begin teaching Magic e with only cvc words!


Teaching icon Teaching/Learning to Read Teaching icon 2


teachingvideos

Teaching Videos

Learn the 4h brothers th sh wh ch
Learn the beginning blends
For teachers: teaching blends and using the PowerPoint

TEACH ALONG THE WAY ●●●

Teach and add the relevant sounds (th, sh, ch, wh. -dge, -ng, and -nk) from the Big Sounds Pack to daily practice.

th has 2 sounds: The sound it makes in “thinker” is not voiced, and the sound it makes in “then” is voiced. If you put your fingers on your throat you can feel the vibrations when a sound is voiced.

-ng, -nk: When followed by g or k the n sounds moves to the back of the throat. This includes common chunks -ing, -ong, -ung, -ink, -onk, -unk as well as long vowel cheater chunks ank and -ang.

-dge, -tch: Vowel Protectors make sure the vowel says it’s sound. Vowel Protectors -dge (bridge) and -tch (catch)  come after a short vowel in one syllable words.

Other letter combinations with practice on this page (also in Teach Along the Way ➡︎ Unique Sounds & Situations) are kn, gn, ph, wr, -mb and -mn.


Book Shelf Practice Reading Book Shelf


KEY:
Blue Heart: Beginning, grades K-1K-1 Beginning
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-21-2 Growing
Pink Plus: intervention, challengeIntervention/Challenge
* A favorite!

Bundle: Additional various activities to practice a specific skill
Pack: Additional multiple versions of a specific activity to practice a specific skill

When practicing lists:

– First highlight the 4h digraph or the blend while saying its sound in these lists.  This way the learner is training their brain to quickly identify those letters together as a unit.  (If this work is difficult, the learner may choose different colors for different letter combinations, for example highlighting every /ch/ blue.

– Then go through and say the sounds of the highlighted 4h brother or digraph, pause, say the rest of the word, and then say the word as a whole.  (/sh/, /ip/, /ship/) This helps the learner train their brain to see words in chunks.   

– Finally go through the highlighted list reading the whole words! Once reading words with blends and digraphs becomes easy and quick, skip the steps and just practice with lists, games, small books etc!

bundlesandpacks

Beginning Reader 4h and Blends Bundles!

Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-24h sh, th, ch, wh Bundle 4h Bundle with words, phrases, pyramids, game and story
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends Bundle Blends Bundle with words, phrases, pyramids, questions, game, story


Beginning Reader 4h and Blends Packs!

Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends Pack with index More Fluency Pyramids Includes -tch and -dge
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Blends and 4h Pack CVC with some 4h and Blends Full page story with list ALL



Individual Materials including materials for more advanced learners:



4H DIGRAPH FOCUS sh, ch, wh, th

Lists icon 4h Word and Phrase Lists

4h Word Lists th sh ch wh
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-24h words beginning by type sh wh th ch
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-24h words beginning mixed with reference pictures
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h words beginning and ending by type
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Wh Wh Words Wh words are not as common, and most people pronounce it the same as a w.  This sheet helps to point out and notice which words (mostly question and sound words) are spelled with wh.  Use this to read and notice, not to memorize!

4h Phrases
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Ch Ch Beginning and Ending Phrases
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Sh Sh Beginning and Endings Phrases
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h mixed and ending th 4h phrases

Flashcard icon 4h Flashcards
4h Brothers Flashcards with Pictures
4h Brothers 4h Brothers Flashcards
4h Brothers 4h Flip Chute Cards (See directions for Flip Chute cards on this page.)

Games Icon 4h Brothers Games
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-24h Brothers sounds game Pirate Ship sh ch wh Includes a directions page.
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-24h Brothers Zap
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and intervention4h Brothers sounds game FLASH
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and intervention4h Brother Bingo  (4h Brother Bingo directions).
– – 4h Brother Letter and Picture Spinners to use with Bingo

Small Books icon 4h Books
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h small book Flash and Dash ch sh th wh
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h small book Flash and Dash ch sh th wh horizontal format
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h small book Whistler Needs Help
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-24h small book Whistler Needs Help horizontal format


BLENDS FOCUS includes 4h

Lists

Lists icon Word and Phrase Lists

Blends & 4h Word Lists
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Words by Beginning Blend 2pgs
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends 2&3 letter blends Word list 2 pgs
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends and 4h Mixed Word Lists
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends and vowels Change Vowel to make real and nonsense words
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends Words Words by End Blend
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeEnd Blends End Blends Left to Right
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge3 letter Blends Words 3 Letter Blends Left to Right
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends and CVC Look-A-likes
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends and CVC Nonsense Syllables It is important readers can read nonsense syllables as well as real one syllable words with automaticity.

Blends & 4h Phrases and Sentences
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends bl br cr cl dr Words Phrases Blot it Up
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Mixed Blends Word and Phrase Lists Grab The Red Plant
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Mixed Blends Phrases Check The Dog
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends Word List I Bent My Hand Back
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends -ck Phrase Lists Check the Brick
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends sentences Small Stories
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends Ted and Fred Story Sentences
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends phrases A Big Grin
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed End Blends phrases cvcc Bring a Ring
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed End Blends phrases cvcc In a Tent
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends story with phrases Stan is a Man
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeBeginning Blend tr tr words (not chr)many students hear /ch/ /r/ at the beginning of words like truck and train.  It is always spelled tr.  Chr is pronounced /kr/ like chrome and chronic.
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeMixed Blends -ck Word and Phrase Lists -ck Skill Progression includes multiple syllable words

-ng, -nk Lists
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-ng Word List Ding
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-nk Word List Ink

-dge, -tch Lists (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word)
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-dge Word and Phrase List The Bridge Fell with directions
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-dge Word and Phrase List The Bridge Fell with timing option
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-tch Word and Phrase List Catch the Ball
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-tch Word and Phrase List Catch a Rat with more words on the page
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge, -tch phrase list A Batch of Fudge
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge, -tch phrase list Pitch The Ball with numbers for timing

Digraphs kn, gn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn Lists
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengegn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn words Gnarl on the Phone
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengekn, gn, ph, wr, -mb A Gnome Knows
Pink Plus: intervention, challengegn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn phrases Phillip Ate a Crumb of Cake 

Flashcards

Flashcard icon Flashcards

Beginning Blends Blends and Words Flashcards
Beginning Blends Blends Flip Chute Cards (See directions for Flip Chute cards on this page.)
*Beginning Blends and Word Families Blends and End Chunks Multi-use Flashcards with words on back, includes directions (print back to back)
Beginning Blends Short Vowel Word Families Includes a directions page. (Also in Short Vowels CVC)
*End Blends Flashcards with words on back
Mixed Blends Blends Phrases Flashcards

Fluency Pyramids

Fluency Pyramid Fluency Pyramids

Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends Pack Fluency Pyramids Pack includes index

Games

Games Icon Games

Game Directions

Blends Board Games and Bingo
–Directions for games with picture cards
–Directions for games without picture cards
Bingo Directions

Blends Initial Sounds Board Games
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends L family Fly To The Flowers game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends r family Try To Be Friends game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends s family Stop And Smell The Roses game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends bl br sl Block Stack game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends cr pl cl pr Crab Problem game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends sn sk gl gr Skull Danger game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends st dr tr Start and Stop game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends fr sp fl Spider Friends game
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends Mixed Sea Horse game

Blends Initial Sounds Bingo
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Bingo L family
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Bingo r family
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Bingo S Family
Blue Heart, Green Star, Pink Plus: K-2 and interventionBeginning Blends Bingo Mixed L, R, S Families

Blends, 4h Words & Phrases Board Games
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends, 4h Mixed Stop and Slap
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Mixed Blends, 4h Mixed Cute Crab
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends, 4h Mixed Blends Blaster game
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends, 4h, -ck words and phrases Check Out The Chicks game
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends sound and word Drink Milk
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends Time to Milk #1 end sounds
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2
End Blends Time to Milk #2 words
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends phrases Spill a Snack
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2
End Blends phrases Camp With a Tent
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends phrases Swing With a Chimp

Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge3 letter Mixed Blends Tongue Tied game

Blends Zap Words Game
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Zap

Blends I Have, Who Has and Dice Games
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends I Have, Who Has games. One star cards use 2 letter blends only, add 2 star cards for 3 letter blends.
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Beginning Blends Dice: 3 Games 1 Blob, 2 Slob, 3 Plop
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2End Blends Dice: 2 Games 1Tent, 2 Gift

-dge, -tch, gn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn games
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge words, phrases I Love A Hedge Hog
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge phrases That Dog Won’t Budge
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-tch phrases Make a Batch of Candy 
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge, -tch Watch Ninja Bunny
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge, -tch I Have, Who Has
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challenge-dge, -tch Cootie Catcher
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengegn, -mb words Gnome and Lamb
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengekn, wr, ph words, phrases A Wren on the Phone
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengegn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn drawing activity Gnome

Just for fun
Green Star, Pink Plus: Grades 1,2 and/or intervention, challengeName Your Robot nonsense syllables fun sheet Project Robot (also in Step 6)

Spelling

Lists icon Spelling

Practice with words from the lists, games etc., or use the lists below.
* Having learners spell with word chains where the coach says “change one sound in (chop) to spell (chip), now change one sound in (chip) to spell (sip)” is a powerful way to draw student’s attention to individual sounds in the words!

Blends Spin and Spell 1 and 2 word families
Blends Word Chain spelling Pack Blends Word Chains
Vowel protectors Spell sentences with vowel protectors ffsszzll, -ck, -tch, -dge

Small Books

Small Books icon Small Books

Small Book assembly directions, 4 Pager folding directions, OR use horizontal format for reading on screen in distance learning.

Blends & 4h Books.
Blue Heart: Beginning, grades K-1Blends Zip Man horizontal format
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends 4 page Do You Like To (you like to all day we) horizontal and foldable formats
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends 4 page Is This From You (from you who what) horizontal and foldable formats
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends scr 4 page Pig in Mud (my from he to the likes look you) horizontal and foldable formats
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends small book A Wet Trip cvc ccvc horizontal and foldable formats
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Blends, ck small book The Duck on the Dock horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Blends, ck small book Jack and the Duck horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Blends, ll, ss small book Jill and the Tall Box horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Blends Flip, Flop Frog foldable format

-ng, -nk Books
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-ng 4 page My Pet Kip (me likes my too fly he) horizontal and foldable formats
Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2-ng -nk 4 page The Trunk (said see my by go to) horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ng -nk End Blends 4 page Poems -ng -nk -mp -ck horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ng -nk End Blends small book Fred the Frog
horizontal and foldable formats
Pink Plus: intervention, challenge-ng -nk End Blends 4 page Camping Is The Best horizontal and foldable formats
Pink Plus: intervention, challenge-nk Blends, nk small book Pink the Skunk (challenge) horizontal and foldable formats

-tch, -dge Books (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word)
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-tch, -dge small book Rat On The Fridge (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-tch small book The Small Black Cat (use -tch after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-tch ch, ck, sh, st small book Can Mitch Catch a Fish (use -tch after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats
Pink Plus: intervention, challenge-tch, -dge, kn small book The Knight and the Witch (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats


-ot page Full Page Story with List Practice Videos and Sheets

Blue Heart Green Star: Beginning, grades K-1 and/or Growing, Grades 1-2Word Families practice videos
Practice word families with Chris Jaglo! These are mostly 3 letter words with some blends thrown in. Click on the 3 dots and choose full screen. The sheet she is using is linked in the caption for each video. I recommend learners highlight the word families on the sheet if possible.

Full Page Stories with Lists

Full Page Stories with Lists

Highlighting Word Lists directions

Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2Blends and 4h Pack CVC with some 4h and Blends Full page story with list ALL (also above)

Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ap family
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ab family (super challenge: includes karate, school, ride, wood, work)
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-all family (Teach this as a cheater chunk – pronounced with an /ŏ/ sound)
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ing family (Teach -ng sound with the back of the tongue on the back roof of the mouth.)

Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-op family (Includes ride, knife)
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ing -ong (Teach -ng sound with the back of the tongue on the back roof of the mouth. Also includes kite and make)
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ed family
Green Star: Growing, Grades 1-2-ck family

Teacher Resources


Teacher icon Teacher Resources

Posters/Visuals

Teaching Stories

PowerPoints

Directions

More on the Directions Page

Map Sounds to Letters

First map the sounds in the word to the letter(s) representing the sounds, even if it is not a letter combination that has been taught yet. Only an unusual sound/letter combination needs to be remembered “by heart.” Mapping the sounds to the letters is how we remember what words look like. See example below:

Map sounds to the letters that spell those sounds.  Teach spelling

Be sure to reinforce what you know and are learning about words:
Schwa Sound: Any vowel might say /u/. Point out this happens in many common words like: the, of, was, some, from…

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