The concept of two or more letters spelling a single sound (digraphs, trigraphs and quadgraphs) or two sounds coming together to create a new sound (diphthongs) can be confusing for young non-native English speakers. I teach English to kids whose native language does not have diphthongs, and digraphs are rare things for this language. Yet in English digraphs and diphthongs are very common, so kids must learn how to spell them correctly. When working with elementary school students, I call digraphs and diphthongs vowel teams and consonant teams. I help kids imagine letters being pals and working together to form sounds. Imagining letters as cartoon characters allowed me to create all sorts of activities and icebreakers in the classroom. I also design visuals to help students better memorize common letter teams and sounds they make. Printable posters featuring vowel teams and consonant teams are among my best visual teaching materials for digraphs and diphthongs.
I’m a big fan of visuals for teaching English. I believe such materials are very much conducive to memory of preschool and elementary school children. Even when we get aquainted with English phonics and learn how to spell letters, I do my best to offer as many relevant visuals as possible for kids to memorize new vocabulary through associating words with pictures. Such association is natural for children. Reading lists of words to train spelling of various digraphs is not as good as reading lists of words with pictures around them to train spelling and memorize some useful vocabulary at the same time. That is why I love the concept of printable visually-enhanced posters featuring words and corresponding images for students to different spelling patterns involving vowel teams and consonant teams. I have designed 30 such posters so far.
|Vowel teams posters printed on A3 paper sheets (297 x 420 mm, 11.7 x 16.5 inch).|
I’d like to share a few vowel teams posters in this blog post. The posters feature words (mostly nouns) that can be easily visualized with pictures. I stick the posters to my classroom walls to grab students’ attention. Thanks to these posters kids start to recognize English digraphs and diphthongs much faster when spelling words. Students also expand their passive and active vocabulary with many useful words simply by looking at those posters.
|A vowel teams poster printed on an A1 paper sheet (594 x 841 mm, 23.4 x 33.1 inch).|
My set of printable posters features the following vowel teams: ai, au, ay, ea, ee, ei, ey, ie, oa, oe, oi, oo, ou, oy, ue, ui. The posters are designed in high resolution and I usually print them on either A3 paper sheets (297 x 420 mm, 11.7 x 16.5 inch) or A1 paper sheets (594 x 841 mm, 23.4 x 33.1 inch).
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Phonics sounds charts - digraphs, diphthongs, letter combinations