What are digraphs and trigraphs?

CCSS ELA Literacy K-2, Foolproof Phonics App, ELA K-2, ELA Kindergarten, ELA 1st Grade, ELA 2nd Grade



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Graphemes can be made up of more than one letter. A digraph is a two-letter grapheme, a combination of two letters representing only one sound. For example, s and h together make up sh, a digraph of the /sh/ sound. A trigraph is a three-letter grapheme, a combination of three letters representing one sound, like igh in the word sigh.

- The word hop has three graphemes: h-o-p.
- The word shop also has three graphemes: sh-o-p -- the first grapheme is a digraph.
- The word feel also has three graphemes: f-ee-l -- the middle grapheme is a digraph.
- The word catch also has three graphemes: c-a-tch -- the last grapheme is a trigraph.
- The word night also has three graphemes: n-igh-t -- the middle grapheme is a trigraph

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Foolproof Phonics Part 1

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We’re making it easy to find, integrate, and share character-rich, curriculum-aligned resources for Kindergarten to Grade 2. It’s time to streamline virtual learning and make it fun.

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Phonics is the method that helps children build systematic connections between letters and sounds. Phonics has a better impact on children’s reading ability than any other type of reading program. It has also been shown to improve spelling, particularly among kindergarteners and first graders.

To find out more, read our Deep Dive into Phonics report. This report provides an easy-to-understand overview of phonics and phonemic awareness - why they are important and how they are taught in the classroom - and explains all the relevant terminology. It's perfect for sharing with colleagues, friends, and to Google Classroom!


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