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Digraph Words

Download printable, free digraph word lists in PDF format. On this page you can find pre-generated word lists including real words and nonsense words from each of the following categories: ch words, sh words, th words, ck words, wh words, and mixed digraph words.

Need more lists? Generate your own free, printable digraph word lists! To create digraph word lists using our phonics word list generator, check off digraph real words or digraph nonsense words (or both). To specify which digraphs you would like to include, click “include selected sounds” and check off the digraphs that you would like to include in your list. You can also create a list that includes only certain vowels, excludes certain consonants, or incorporates other phonics features!

Mixed digraph word list Mixed digraph nonsense word list
Digraph ch word list Digraph ch nonsense word list
Digraph sh word list Digraph sh nonsense word list
Digraph th word list Digraph th nonsense word list
Digraph ck word list Digraph ck nonsense word list
Digraph wh word list Digraph wh nonsense word list

How can I use these digraph word lists?

Digraphs are two letters that go together and make one sound. They are very common in the English language and are typically taught early in reading instruction. The most common digraph examples are: wh, ch, sh, th, and ck. They can be tricky for students to read at first, because beginning readers often try to produce both sounds individually instead of producing the single digraph sound. For this reason, when you teach digraphs, it’s important to provide students with many opportunities to practice reading and spelling a variety of words, so that digraph recognition becomes quick and automatic.

Children are often taught to read digraphs in kindergarten or first grade, but many students continue to need practice with digraphs. This extra practice can be provided in a reading intervention or special education setting, or in small group instruction in a second grade or third grade classroom. Mastering one-syllable words with digraphs is a key first step before moving onto multisyllabic words.

Digraph word lists can be useful when introducing a new digraph to give students plenty of opportunity to practice reading and spelling with the new sound. Use them in small groups in the classroom, or send them home with students for extra practice.

Digraph word lists can also be used for assessment and progress monitoring. You can see how students are faring reading or spelling real or nonsense words. You can also pinpoint particular digraphs that are causing difficulty for students, so that you know where to target additional instruction and practice.

Why are some of the digraph word lists shorter than others?

There are a limited number of digraph real words in the English language. Many words that contain digraphs also contain other phonics features, such as r-controlled vowels or consonant blends. The word lists on this page are designed to be as simple as possible to allow students to focus exclusively on digraph sounds. The words on this page will include one or two digraphs with short vowels only.

If you’re interested in practicing with vowel teams (vowel digraphs), r-controlled vowels, or other vowel patterns, you can generate your own, custom word lists at my home page! Additionally, you can generate your own word lists if you are looking to include consonant blends to make your word list a little more challenging.

You should also note that certain digraphs only fall at the beginning or only fall the at the end of a single-syllable word. The digraph wh only occurs at the beginning of a word. The digraph ck only occurs at the end of a word. The digraph ch typically changes to tch at the end of a word; that spelling is not included in these word lists, so you’ll see ch primarily occurring at the beginning of a word. This means that the digraphs wh, ck, and ch only have half the number of possible real or nonsense words, so their lists are a little shorter.

What about the other digraph sounds?

There are other digraph sounds in the English language that are not included in these word lists, such as ph and wr. I’m adding features to this website little by little. If there’s a feature that you would like to see prioritized, please shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About me!

Hi! My name is Miss Becca, and I’m an elementary school teacher in New York. Over the course of my teaching career, I’ve taught every grade from kindergarten through fifth grade. I’m certified in both special and general education, and I’ve taught students from both populations. I’ve also taught reading intervention.

I used to spend a lot of time creating my own word lists and word cards to supplement phonics programs and reading intervention programs. Learning to read is hard, and students need a lot of practice, but it was difficult to find resources targeting exactly what I needed! I created to make my own job in the classroom easier, and hopefully to help other teachers as well!

I hope you find this resource useful! Feel free to shoot me an email at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com with any questions or feedback!

P.S. – Check out my store on Teachers Pay Teachers! 😊


Email me at beccatheteacher (at) gmail (dot) com

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