Are digraphs taught in kindergarten?

Answered by Jason Smith

In my experience as an educator, I can confidently say that digraphs are indeed taught in kindergarten. Digraphs are a fundamental part of phonics instruction, which is typically introduced in the early years of elementary school. Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and pronounce words by focusing on the sounds that letters and letter combinations make.

Digraphs are a specific type of letter combination where two letters come together to create a single sound. One common type of digraph is the consonant digraph, where two consonants work together to produce a unique sound. Examples of consonant digraphs include “ch,” “sh,” “th,” and “ph.” These sounds are often taught using visual aids, such as flashcards or posters, to help children recognize and remember them.

In addition to consonant digraphs, there are also vowel digraphs that children will learn. Vowel digraphs occur when two vowels join together to make a new sound. Some examples of vowel digraphs are “ai,” “ea,” “ee,” and “oa.” These digraphs can appear at the beginning or end of a word, and they play a crucial role in helping children decode and read words accurately.

Kindergarten is an ideal time to introduce digraphs because children are at a stage where they are developing their phonemic awareness skills. Phonemic awareness refers to the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in spoken words. By teaching digraphs in kindergarten, educators can help children develop a strong foundation in phonics, which will support their reading and spelling abilities as they progress through school.

To teach digraphs effectively, educators often use a variety of multisensory activities and strategies. These can include hands-on activities, such as sorting pictures or objects into categories based on their initial or final digraphs. They may also use songs, rhymes, and games to reinforce the sounds and make learning fun and engaging for young learners.

In my own teaching experience, I have found that incorporating digraphs into daily lessons and activities has been highly beneficial for my students. By explicitly teaching and practicing digraph sounds, children become more confident in recognizing and decoding words that contain these letter combinations. This, in turn, improves their overall reading fluency and comprehension.

Digraphs are indeed taught in kindergarten as part of phonics instruction. Both consonant and vowel digraphs are introduced to help children develop their phonemic awareness and reading skills. By incorporating multisensory activities and engaging teaching strategies, educators can support young learners in mastering these important letter combinations.