Let’s say “hooray” for the letter A as it joins the Alphabet Parade. The seven letter A worksheets cover the short and long sounds made by the letter A, how to spot the letter A in printed words, and how to write the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letter A. Each worksheet also includes extra tips and activity suggestions you can try at home to help your child quickly learn all about the letter A and the sounds it makes.
The letter A, like most vowels, has two sounds: a short sound and a long sound. The short letter A sound is the sound that begins the word apple. The long sound is simply the name of the letter, so you hear the long letter A sound in the word cake. I suggest introducing the short vowel sound before introducing the long vowel sound. In this way, your child can begin sounding out three-letter words that have the consonant—vowel—consonant formation (as in the word mat) whereas words with the long vowel sound typically include a “silent e” at the end which can by challenging for young children to understand (as in the word bake).
The short letter A sound is made with the mouth slightly open and the tongue pushed forward in the mouth so that it just barely extends over the front, bottom teeth. Encourage your child to say this sound alone at first. Then, ask him to say the short letter A sound at the start of words such as apple, after, ask, and ant. Lastly, ask him to practice saying the short letter A sound when it is between two consonants, such as the words bat, can, mat, and nap.
The long letter A sound is made with a similar mouth formation but the tongue does not extend as far forward in the mouth. Typically the long letter A sound is also a deeper (more baritone) sound than the short letter A sound. As when practicing the short letter A sound, ask your child to first practice making the long letter A sound by saying words where the sound appears in the starting position in a word such as acorn, ape and aim. Then ask your child to say words with the long letter A sound in the middle between two consonant sounds, such as cape, mate, and sail. For some fun practice with the long letter A sound, take all the face cards and aces from a deck of playing cards. Show your child the cards one at a time and have him call out what he sees, practicing the long letter A sound each time you show him an ace.
When teaching your child how to write the uppercase letter A, it can be helpful to explain how the letter looks like a tent. Some children also call it an upside-down V with a line across the middle. While it is tempting to start at the bottom of the writing line and draw a tent, this letter takes three separate strokes. Ask your child to start at the top of the writing line and draw a diagonal line down to the bottom writing line. He must then lift his pencil and put it back on the starting point to draw the second diagonal line. Now he lifts his pencil for the third stroke which goes across the middle of the letter.
Unlike the uppercase A, the lowercase a is written in one continuous stroke without lifting the pencil. First have your child draw a round loop. Then, without lifting his pencil, direct him to pause briefly to change direction and draw the straight line down.
Coming Next Week: The Letter O.