The Easiest way Teach Digraphs, Diphthongs and Consonant Blends

A digraph is a combination of two consonants that make a single sound. The most common digraphs are, sh, ch, the, pg, ng, and wh. A diphthong is a combination of two vowels that make a single sound. E.g., oo, oi au, ui. Consonant blends are two or three consonants that are pronounced in their own phonetic sound. When consonant blends are pronounced, each sound is blurred for smooth speech. Some consonant blends are cl, cr, br, fr, st.

In Montessori method, consonant blends fall into the Blue Scheme. Blue Scheme is Long Phonetic Words. Digraphs and Diphthongs fall into the Green Scheme.

Consonant Blends

Composing Consonant Blends

Materials: Large Movable Alphabet, Language Mat & Picture Cards

composing consonant blends with the printable Montessori Large Movable Alphabet

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Montessori printable Large Movable Alphabet
Montessori Blue Scheme, printable materials, long phonetic picture Cards and Word Cards

Introducing and composing consonant blends are the same as CVC Words or any phonetic word. The real Montessori Large Movable Alphabet is wooden letter cutouts in a wooden box with separate compartments for each letter. If you don’t have a real Movable Alphabet, you can easily DIY with printables. The above Printable Large Movable Alphabet comes with 4 types of Language mats as well. The picture cards are long phonetic words. Most of the long phonetic Words are consonant blends. The above picture cards are perfect for this activity.

This is a Montessori Shelf Activity. Print and Laminate these Movable Alphabet Letters and Picture Cards. Keep each set of letters separately (A bead organizer is perfect for this). There are tons of activities that you can do with them and the child can use them over and over again for a very long time. So it’s worth going through that trouble to laminate and cut.

  • Show the child a consonant blend/long phonetic picture card. Pronounce clearly to bring attention to all the sounds of the word.
  • Invite the child to pronounce the word a few times as well.
  • Show the child how to find all the sounds from the Movable Alphabet Box to compose the word.
  • By this stage, the child should be familiar with the language mat. The child must have mastered composing CVC words before this stage.
  • Remind the child to build the word on the language mat, placing the letters on the correct line

Reading Consonant Blends

Materials: Picture Cards & Word Cards, Lists, Booklets, Sentences & Story Books

reading consonant blends or long phonetic words to find the matching picture.

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When the child has mastered composing, it’s time to introduce reading. Reading consonant blends is the same as reading CVC words or any long phonetic words. You just have to bring the child’s attention to all the sounds in the word. The most important difference between composing and reading is when you use picture cards. When reading you bring the word cards first.

  • Show the child a consonant blend/long phonetic word card and ask him to read.
  • Then ask the child to choose the right picture card out of about 6 picture cards.

Lists, Booklets, Sentences & Story Books are also shelf activities for reading. I will add them to Montessori Pulse Resource Library soon.

Digital Version of this Activity with Boom Cards™ – Distance Learning

reading long phonetic words, Montessori Blue Scheme

Hands-on practice with real materials is the best option when it comes to children’s education. But somehow now as educators and parents, we are forced to use technology. The best thing about Boom Cards™ is they are interactive. Boom Cards are self-correcting, no-prep, paperless and interactive activities. Children love these game-like activities. You can register in Boom Learning for Free!. Once you have an account you can search for any kind of activity and download them. Once you download a deck your child can play that over and over again forever. There are lots of free decks and paid ones as well. Click on the picture above to play preview for free.

Digraphs & Diphthongs

Composing Digraphs & Diphthongs

Materials: Large Movable Alphabet in two colours & Language Mat

composing digraphs with movable alphabet and picture cards

For more Montessori Reading Resources like this visit, Montessori Pulse

Montessori Green Scheme, printable materials. Digraphs ch & sh Word cards and Picture cards
  • Use the red set of movable letters to build the chosen digraph. E.g., if you chose ch digraph, take a ‘c’ and ‘h’ from the red letters, put them together on the table and say ‘ch’.
  • Show the child a digraph picture card. Pronounce clearly to bring attention to the special sound.
  • Invite the child to pronounce the word a few times as well.
  • Show the child how to build the digraph using the red letters and the rest of the word with black letters.

Reading Digraphs & Diphthongs

Materials: Picture Cards & Word Cards, Lists, Booklets, Sentences & Story Books

reading digraph words to find out the matching picture, Montessori Green Scheme

For more Montessori Reading Resources like this visit, Montessori Pulse

When the child has mastered composing a certain digraph, it’s time to introduce reading Words that contain the same digraph. At this stage, it is important that the words you choose do not have other difficulties or other digraphs. This is a great way to isolate that certain digraph, so it is easy for the child to practice and perfect it.

Reading digraphs is the same as reading any phonetic word. You just have to bring the child’s attention to the special sound of the digraph. The most important difference between composing and reading is when you use picture cards. When reading you bring the word cards first and then the picture cards.

  • Show the child a digraph word card and ask him to read.
  • Then ask the child to choose the right picture card out of about 6 picture cards.

Digital Activities -Boom Cards™ or Google Slides™ for Distance Learning

Reading ch & sh digraphs, digital, interactive, paperless Boom Cards
interactive digital google slide activities to practice sh & ch digraphs

Read The Illustrated Guide to Montessori Digraphs and Non-phonetic Words

For more Montessori Reading Resources like this visit, Montessori Pulse

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