Digraphs & Sidewalk Chalk

A digraph is two letters that make a new sound, meaning you can’t hear either letter separately. For science folks, it’s similar to a solution vs. a mixture!

Today’s example: sh and the /sh/ sound.

Digraph Leap


Hop down the Word Part Trail and read the word made with each leap.

Basic Example

“s and h say /sh/”

Word Part Trail
written with sidewalk chalk

This Word Trail will make the words: shun, shot, fish, shell, mash and ship.

The /sh/ is made with the parts on the feet and the rest of the word is the Word Part.

di + sh = "dish"

We’ve experimented with a little video example:


Other Leap Examples

  • For additional portability, use index cards for the word parts.

Indoor Digraph Leap

This example had a longer Word Part Trail and made the words: ship, mesh, fish, shell, gash, lush, dish, shot, ash, shin, cash, wish.

  • Use vowel teams for the leap (ex: ai, ea, oa).
  • Using other digraphs (th, wh, ch) will create nonsense words. Ch not recommended because there is a special spelling rule for /ch/ at the end of short words.

A Little Bit Extra

Make /sh/ a sound for a week. Keep track of words you hear or see with sh in them. Keep the word parts on index cards and practice the trail of words you’ve collected a few times in the week.

How long is your trail at the end of the week?!

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