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/Learning to Read
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.
* 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!
Beginning Reader 4h and Blends Bundles!
Beginning Reader 4h and Blends Packs!
Blends Pack with index More Fluency Pyramids Includes -tch and -dge
Blends 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
4h Word and Phrase Lists
4h Word Lists th sh ch wh
4h words beginning by type sh wh th ch
4h words beginning mixed with reference pictures
4h words beginning and ending by type
Wh 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!
Ch Ch Beginning and Ending Phrases
Sh Sh Beginning and Endings Phrases
4h mixed and ending th 4h phrases
4h Brothers Games
4h Brothers sounds game Pirate Ship sh ch wh Includes a directions page.
4h Brothers Zap
4h Brothers sounds game FLASH
4h Brother Bingo (4h Brother Bingo directions).
– – 4h Brother Letter and Picture Spinners to use with Bingo
4h small book Flash and Dash ch sh th wh
4h small book Flash and Dash ch sh th wh horizontal format
4h small book Whistler Needs Help
4h small book Whistler Needs Help horizontal format
BLENDS FOCUS includes 4h
Word and Phrase Lists
Blends & 4h Word Lists
Beginning Blends Words by Beginning Blend 2pgs
Beginning Blends 2&3 letter blends Word list 2 pgs
Beginning Blends and 4h Mixed Word Lists
Beginning Blends and vowels Change Vowel to make real and nonsense words
End Blends Words Words by End Blend
End Blends End Blends Left to Right
3 letter Blends Words 3 Letter Blends Left to Right
Mixed Blends and CVC Look-A-likes
Mixed 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
Beginning Blends bl br cr cl dr Words Phrases Blot it Up
Mixed Blends Word and Phrase Lists Grab The Red Plant
Mixed Blends Phrases Check The Dog
End Blends Word List I Bent My Hand Back
Mixed Blends -ck Phrase Lists Check the Brick
Mixed Blends sentences Small Stories
Mixed Blends Ted and Fred Story Sentences
Mixed Blends phrases A Big Grin
Mixed End Blends phrases cvcc Bring a Ring
Mixed End Blends phrases cvcc In a Tent
Mixed Blends story with phrases Stan is a Man
Beginning 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.
Mixed Blends -ck Word and Phrase Lists -ck Skill Progression includes multiple syllable words
-ng, -nk Lists
-ng Word List Ding
-nk Word List Ink
-dge, -tch Lists (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word)
-dge Word and Phrase List The Bridge Fell with directions
-dge Word and Phrase List The Bridge Fell with timing option
-tch Word and Phrase List Catch the Ball
-tch Word and Phrase List Catch a Rat with more words on the page
-dge, -tch phrase list A Batch of Fudge
-dge, -tch phrase list Pitch The Ball with numbers for timing
Digraphs kn, gn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn Lists
gn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn words Gnarl on the Phone
kn, gn, ph, wr, -mb A Gnome Knows
gn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn phrases Phillip Ate a Crumb of Cake
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
Blends Pack Fluency Pyramids Pack includes index
Blends Board Games and Bingo
–Directions for games with picture cards
–Directions for games without picture cards
Blends Initial Sounds Board Games
Beginning Blends L family Fly To The Flowers game
Beginning Blends r family Try To Be Friends game
Beginning Blends s family Stop And Smell The Roses game
Beginning Blends bl br sl Block Stack game
Beginning Blends cr pl cl pr Crab Problem game
Beginning Blends sn sk gl gr Skull Danger game
Beginning Blends st dr tr Start and Stop game
Beginning Blends fr sp fl Spider Friends game
Beginning Blends Mixed Sea Horse game
Blends Initial Sounds Bingo
Beginning Blends Bingo L family
Beginning Blends Bingo r family
Beginning Blends Bingo S Family
Beginning Blends Bingo Mixed L, R, S Families
Blends, 4h Words & Phrases Board Games
Beginning Blends, 4h Mixed Stop and Slap
Mixed Blends, 4h Mixed Cute Crab
Beginning Blends, 4h Mixed Blends Blaster game
Beginning Blends, 4h, -ck words and phrases Check Out The Chicks game
End Blends sound and word Drink Milk
End Blends Time to Milk #1 end sounds
End Blends Time to Milk #2 words
End Blends phrases Spill a Snack
End Blends phrases Camp With a Tent
End Blends phrases Swing With a Chimp
3 letter Mixed Blends Tongue Tied game
Blends Zap Words Game
Beginning Blends Zap
Blends I Have, Who Has and Dice Games
Beginning Blends I Have, Who Has games. One star cards use 2 letter blends only, add 2 star cards for 3 letter blends.
Beginning Blends Dice: 3 Games 1 Blob, 2 Slob, 3 Plop
End Blends Dice: 2 Games 1Tent, 2 Gift
-dge, -tch, gn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn games
-dge words, phrases I Love A Hedge Hog
-dge phrases That Dog Won’t Budge
-tch phrases Make a Batch of Candy
-dge, -tch Watch Ninja Bunny
-dge, -tch I Have, Who Has
-dge, -tch Cootie Catcher
gn, -mb words Gnome and Lamb
kn, wr, ph words, phrases A Wren on the Phone
gn, kn, ph, wr, -mb, -mn drawing activity Gnome
Just for fun
Name Your Robot nonsense syllables fun sheet Project Robot (also in Step 6)
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!
Small Book assembly directions, 4 Pager folding directions, OR use horizontal format for reading on screen in distance learning.
Blends & 4h Books.
Blends Zip Man horizontal format
Blends 4 page Do You Like To (you like to all day we) horizontal and foldable formats
Blends 4 page Is This From You (from you who what) horizontal and foldable formats
Blends scr 4 page Pig in Mud (my from he to the likes look you) horizontal and foldable formats
Blends small book A Wet Trip cvc ccvc horizontal and foldable formats
Blends, ck small book The Duck on the Dock horizontal and foldable formats
Blends, ck small book Jack and the Duck horizontal and foldable formats
Blends, ll, ss small book Jill and the Tall Box horizontal and foldable formats
Blends Flip, Flop Frog foldable format
-ng, -nk Books
-ng 4 page My Pet Kip (me likes my too fly he) horizontal and foldable formats
-ng -nk 4 page The Trunk (said see my by go to) horizontal and foldable formats
-ng -nk End Blends 4 page Poems -ng -nk -mp -ck horizontal and foldable formats
-ng -nk End Blends small book Fred the Frog horizontal and foldable formats
-ng -nk End Blends 4 page Camping Is The Best horizontal and foldable formats
-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)
-tch, -dge small book Rat On The Fridge (use -tch, -dge after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats
-tch small book The Small Black Cat (use -tch after a short vowel in a one syllable word) horizontal and foldable formats
-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
-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
Full Page Story with List Practice Videos and Sheets
Word 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
Blends and 4h Pack CVC with some 4h and Blends Full page story with list ALL (also above)
-ab family (super challenge: includes karate, school, ride, wood, work)
-all family (Teach this as a cheater chunk – pronounced with an /ŏ/ sound)
-ing family (Teach -ng sound with the back of the tongue on the back roof of the mouth.)
- 4h Brothers Story Pictures from Teaching Video
- 4h and ph posters
- AE and the Blends Story Pictures used in Teaching Video
- Vowel Protectors Poster
- Written Story: 4h Brothers as told in Teaching Video
- Written Story: AE and the Blends as told in Teaching Video
- PowerPoint: 4h Brothers from Teaching Video
- PowerPoint Practice 4h and Reading in Chunks The How-to video for Practice Blends Reading in Chunks below also applies to this PPTX.
- PowerPoint: Practice 4h Brothers flash words. In this PowerPoint the 4h words are flashed. This helps students learn to take a quick look and make an image of the word in their heads. See Flashing Words for more information on this strategy. Download the PowerPoint and use the up and down arrows to arrows to go through it.
- PowerPoint: Practice Blends and Reading in Chunks The How-To Video: Blends shows how to use the PowerPoint. Download the PowerPoint in order for it to work and be formatted correctly.
- PowerPoint: All Syllable Types with Practice (Directions in notes section on each slide) Use only slides that are relevant to where you are in the steps.
More on the Directions Page
- Highlighting Lists
- Working with Flashcards
- Flashing Words with flashcards
- Games with Picture Cards
- Games with Words/Phrases on Game Board
- Game I Have, Who Has
- Game Bang!
- Game Bingo
- Spelling help found on the Spelling Page in the Teach Along The Way section
- Small Book Assembly
- Small Book 4 pager Assembly
- Syllable Sort Directions
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:
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…