Activities to Teach Students to Complete the Word With the Correct Digraph: ph, qu, wh

As educators, we all want our students to develop strong reading and writing skills. One key aspect of this is mastering digraphs – pairs of letters that represent a single sound. Three common digraphs that students need to learn are “ph,” “qu,” and “wh.” These can be tricky to master, but with the right activities, students can quickly become proficient at using them correctly. Below, we’ll look at some effective ways to teach students to complete words with these digraphs.

1. Picture Sorts

Picture sorts involve using cards with pictures that contain the targeted digraphs. For example, you might use pictures of a phone, a queen, and a whistle for the “ph,” “qu,” and “wh” sounds, respectively. Have students sort the cards into piles based on the digraph they contain. This helps them visually associate the sound with the letters that make it and reinforces their ability to recognize the digraphs in written words.

2. Word Searches

Word searches are a fun way to help students practice spelling words with digraphs. Create a word search that includes words like “phone,” “quick,” and “whale,” and have students find and circle them. This helps them develop their spelling skills and reinforces recognition of the digraphs in a variety of words.

3. Word Building with Magnetic Letters

Magnetic letters are a versatile tool for teaching many different literacy skills. For this activity, provide students with a set of magnetic letters that include “ph,” “qu,” and “wh.” Give them a list of words to spell (such as “phone,” “queen,” and “whisker”), and have them use the magnetic letters to build each word. This helps them practice spelling words with the targeted digraphs and reinforces recognition of the digraphs themselves.

4. Digraph Bingo

Bingo is a classic game that can be easily adapted to target specific literacy skills. For this activity, create Bingo cards with words that contain “ph,” “qu,” and “wh.” Read out a list of words, and students mark off the ones they have on their card. This helps them practice recognizing the targeted digraphs in context.

5. Book Hunt

Choose a book that contains many words with the targeted digraphs. Have students search through the book and highlight or circle all of the words that contain “ph,” “qu,” or “wh.” This helps them see the digraphs in use in real reading material and reinforces their recognition of them.

In conclusion, with these activities, students can easily master the use of “ph,” “qu,” and “wh” in reading and writing. It’s essential to make these activities interactive, engaging and something that supports differentiated learning. Teachers should also consider scaffolding their students through each activity, giving step-by-step guidance, allowing them to gradually develop confidence and independence. By incorporating these types of activities into their classroom, teachers are promoting an effective teaching practice and making reading and writing much more enjoyable for their students.     

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