The letter J is jumping for joy as it joins the Alphabet Parade. With it comes six worksheets devoted to the letter J, including the sound the letter J makes, how to identify the letter J in printed words, and how to write the uppercase and lowercase versions of the letter J. Each worksheet also has extra tips and activity suggestions to try at home with your child for added opportunities to learn about the letter J.
Start by making the letter J sound a few times for your child so he can know what sound he is trying to mimic by saying a string of words that begin with the letter J, such as jar, jam, jig, and jet. Then, direct your child to move the front third of his tongue to the roof of his mouth while clenching his jaw so that his teeth and lips are only slightly apart. To make the correct J sound, he will need to lower his tongue and bottom teeth in a synchronized movement so his lips can open. Explain to your child that he needs to open his mouth as he makes the letter J sound so that the sound can jump out!
To help your child master the letter J sound, ask him to move around the room by jumping, jiggling or jogging. Each time you clap your hands, let your child announce another movement (either jumping, jiggling or jogging) and then begin moving in that manner. Or, you can move around the room and have your child announce aloud what J-inspired movement you should do.
When teaching your child how to write the uppercase version of the letter J, show him how the letter J “sits” on the writing line. The biggest challenge for children is in remembering to curve towards the left as their pencil nears the bottom line, as the natural inclination is often to curve towards the right, since our eyes are trained to move from left to right (as when reading). Practice writing the uppercase J with letter tracing worksheets will help your child become automatic in curving the bottom of the J to the left. Also, remind your child to go back and put a bar across the top of the uppercase J to complete the letter. Young children often like to think of that top bar as a “hat” for the letter.
The lowercase j has a similar hook shape to the uppercase J, which makes it relatively easy for children to write once they have learned how to write the uppercase J. The challenge in writing this letter is remembering that it starts in the middle of the writing line and extends below the line before hooking to the left. Just as your child needed to go back and add the bar to the top of the uppercase J, he will need to remember to add a dot above the top of the lowercase j to complete the letter.
Coming Next Week: The Letter K.