Grade Levels: K-3

This lesson plan, adaptable for grades K-3, features a game that challenges students to apply their knowledge of blends, digraphs, and other word parts to create new words.   

Students will:

  1. Watch BrainPOP Jr movies featuring phonics skills.
  2. Practice orally combining sounds to form new words.
  3. Play an online, interactive game in which they combine word parts to form words.


  • Computers or other devices with Internet access
  • Interactive whiteboard
  • Index cards
  • Beanbag (extension activity only)


This lesson plan features the PBS Kids game Jungle Jumble from our partner The Electric Company.  In this phonics game, students form words by putting two word parts together. As they advance through the game, rounds getting increasingly more challenging. In the first round, they join an initial letter with its ending to form words, while later rounds require connecting blends and digraphs.

Preview and play Jungle Jumble to plan how you will adapt it to your students’ needs. If students will be working in small groups, review tips on Setting Cooperative Gaming Expectations.

For the offline game, write the following blends, digraphs on a sheet of paper for you: bl, br, cl, cr, dr, fl, pl, sk, sl, sn, sp, st, tr, spl, spr, str, sh, ch, th, wh. Then write word parts on index cards that you’ll distribute to students: ock, ush, am, ab, op, ag, og, ay, unk, ip, ake, at, ash, ing, ark, ale.

For ideas on how to use SnapThought with this game, read Jungle Jumble: SnapThought Prompts for My BrainPOP for more information and specific SnapThought prompts to provide students during game play.

Build background knowledge or reinforce topics with these BrainPOP Jr. phonics movies: ch and th, sh, and wh.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Share either the ch and th, sh, and wh of the the BrainPOP Jr. phonics movies on the whiteboard for the whole class. Depending on the level of support your students require, you may choose to pause during the movie to invite students to come up with additional words that have the featured digraph/blend. For example, in the ch movie, when Annie introduces a bunch of words that have the “ch” sound, such as chair, sandwich, and teacher, pause the movie and ask students to think of more words that make the “ch” sound.
  2. After watching one or both movies, have students form a circle. Distribute the word parts that you wrote on index cards (see Preparation). Each student should have at least one card, or more if there are more cards than students. Stand in front of the class and read aloud one of the digraphs or blends on your list as you write it on the board. Students who have a word part that completes your word raise their hands. Have each student who raised his or her hand to share the word it forms and come up to the board to write it.
  3. Project the game Jungle Jumble on the whiteboard and invite students up to try and figure out the game mechanics, or how to play. You may want to demonstrate for younger students.
  4. Now have students play the game independently or with a partner. You may also play the game with a small group of students while the rest of the class plays it independently. Remind students of cooperative gaming expectations (see Preparation).
  5. If students have individual logins through My BrainPOP, encourage them to use the SnapThought® tool to take snapshots during game play, and reflect on their thinking and strategies. Review Jungle Jumble: SnapThought Prompts or My BrainPOP for suggested prompts.  
  6. Bring the class together to discuss their experience playing the game. What did they find most challenging about the game? What did they find easy? What strategies did they use?

Extension Activities:

Have the class form a circle. Holding a bean bag, say a digraph or blend (e.g., sp) and throw the bag to a student. The student is to say a word part that forms a word (e.g, oon), then say the full word (spoon). Now that student throws the bean bag back to you to start again with a new sound.