teaching resource

SMASH IT! Digraphs Game

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 14 pages | Grades: 1 - 2

Segment phonemes and identify the digraphs in this set of 18 game boards and letter cards.

Digraphs (2 letters that make one sound) are a massively important part of phonological awareness because they frequently appear in English words. 

In this activity, your students will identify the following beginning and ending digraphs in words on their boards:

  • ch
  • ng
  • sh
  • th
  • wh

💥 SMASH Digraphs with Our Hands-On Phonemic Awareness Activity

Use this resource in your reading center, as a guided reading activity, or a whole class exercise (see below) to practice segmenting words to find the digraphs.

This game can be played independently or with multiple players. Add more players by using different colored molding clay and taking turns to SMASH IT! 

To play, students will need molding clay and a word mat. Shuffle the letter cards and place them in the center of the player area. Students take turns flipping cards and identifying the sound of the digraph. Then, players look for a picture on their mat with that digraph and use their molding clay to SMASH IT! Continue playing until one student has SMASHED all of the objects on their card. 

There are game boards for students to practice working with beginning digraphs, some to practice specifically on ending digraphs, and then some that mix both!

Scaffolding + Extension Tips 

Challenge students who already understand the concept to create new words that begin or end with the digraphs without repeating any of the words on their game board. 

Support students who need help understanding the concepts by using an anchor chart, digraphs poster, or another visual reference. 

Get our 10 Best Scaffolding Strategies here! 

How to Get More From ONE Digraph Game!

Use this resource as independent practice for fast finishers, and full-class learning opportunities like scoot activities, lesson reviews, formative assessments, and more.

2️⃣ Group Play (Beginner)

Divide your class into pairs and give each a word mat. Using your smartboard or another projection device, present the letter cards. Students will work together to identify the words with that digraph on their board. The first pair to cover every picture on their board wins! 

🌞 Warm-Up/Exit Activity (Intermediate)

Use this activity as a formative assessment. Pick a word mat and project it on the board for the whole class to see. Read each of the words as a class, and have students write the digraph in it on a separate sheet of paper.

✏️ Write the Room Scoot Activity (Advanced)

Hang sheets of chart paper around the room and post a digraph above each one. Individually, or with a partner, have students rotate around the room, adding one word that includes that digraph at its beginning or end. Project a game board for reference, if needed. Words may be used only once.

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Print on cardstock for added durability, and slip the boards into dry erase sleeves for easy clean-up. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 

Before You Download

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or Google Slides version of this resource. 

This resource was created by Lindsey Phillips, a teacher in Michigan and Teach Starter Collaborator. 


No need to look anywhere else for digraph activities—we’ve got your lessons covered: 

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