On a Roll With Digraphs


Ready to be a better reader and speller? Get ready to roll. Phonemic awareness is fun with this word game!


1. What’s a phoneme? In English, phonemes are the smallest units of sound. Phonemes can be made up of one, two, three, or four letters. When two letters represent one phoneme, this is called a digraph. Common digraphs include wh, th, sh, ch, and ph. You probably know lots of words with these digraphs! Here’s a fun word game to make and play as a solitaire game or with classmates.

2. Make your game. On recycled file folders, draw six large circles with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Within each circle, draw a square whose corners all touch the sides of the circle. Cut out the six circles with Crayola Scissors.

3. Inside five of the squares, write a digraph in large letters with Crayola Gel Markers. Make the sixth square "wild" (players choose any digraph). Decorate the spaces between the edge of the circle and the square.

4. Fold the lines forming each square upward. Erase the fold lines if you wish. Place one circle face down on its edges. Select one edge from each of four other circles and glue them to the edges of the circle facing down with Crayola Glue Sticks. Glue one edge to its adjoining edge to form a square. Attach the remaining circle’s edges to the four edges that remain to form your cube.

5. Time to play! Roll the cube. Say or write a word that contains the digraph that appears on top. How many different words can you list?

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Scissors—ATTENTION: The cutting edges of scissors are sharp and care should be taken whenever cutting or handling. Blunt-tip scissors should be used only by children 4 years and older. Pointed-tip scissors should be used only by children 6 years and older.


  • Beginning readers make these cubes with single letters.
  • Set a time limit to quicken the game’s pace. ? Make a cube for three- and four-digit phonemes or word blends as well.
  • Record all the words said. Use them for spelling and vocabulary words.
  • Assessment: Students write a list of the words that they identify. Check for accuracy.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Colored Pencils
  • Gel Markers
  • Glue Sticks
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
household supplies
  • ruler
  • recycled file folders
  • straight edge



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Multiple Sessions


  • Students understand what a phoneme is.

  • Students identify digraphs in words.

  • Students list vocabulary words using specific digraphs.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards