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Phonics- Complex consonant sounds

Complex consonant sounds are when the letters that are joined together (i.e. 'tch') make a different sound as a whole than the individual letters make on their own. (Ex. 'dge', 'str', 'chr', and 'the'). The individual letters are not pronounced separately.

The Frail Snail on the Trail This book looks at consonant blends. It is specifically written for a focus on this part of phonics, and includes several words to illustrate this concept.

Whose Shoes Would You Choose? This book would be good to use for consonant digraphs. It presents many words with these parts in them, and the book is an easy enough read to not be tripped up by hard words in the process of learning about this aspect of phonics.

This activity can be used at a center easily, or with the whole class for teaching the concept. Have students read a book, and every time they come to a word that has a complex consonant pattern in it, they have to split the word up with magnetic letters. This helps them to visualize that the consonant blend makes one sound together, so it stays together on the board. The other letters that make separate sounds can be split apart though.

Beginning Reading Help: Teach Consonant Blends

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WORD SORT This activity can also be adapted to use for complex consonant patterns. Write the consonant blends on a container (whether it be a frog, ice cream cone, or another cute character), and have pictures of words that correlate with each blend. This activity can be used with the written words or with pictures, to connect the sounds of the blends as well as what they look like written.

Making new words- I have used this activity before, and it can easily be adapted for trigraphs. Simply write the trigraph or complex consonant blend on one side of a paint chip with a hole cut out, and write some beginning/ending sounds on another paint chip that can go with the consonant blend to make a word. This activity is a visual for how words can be put together with blends.

Chad Checks, by Peg Ballard, uses many words with the 'ch' blend. Though this is only a digraph, knowing this blend will help students to understand and grasp trigraphs better, especially ones that include the 'ch' blend in them, such as 'tch'.

Charts with several different digraph and trigraph blends are provided here. The charts allow students to add words to them under each blend. This can be used as a challenge activity at a center to see how many students can come up with, or as a tool to keep adding words to for future reference.

Blends Activities - Have Fun Teaching

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Tri-flap booklet on trigraphs. This activity has students make their own booklets on trigraphs, and incorporate words from their spelling and words that they find in the books they are reading into the booklet.

I {Heart} Teaching: Trigraphs

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Create your own word search, acrostic, or other fun resource to use for each major consonant blend.

This website includes many printable worksheets and other materials that go along with blends. Some include books that can be made for each blend, fill in the blanks with the blend for a picture, and brainstorming charts for words with each consonant blend.