Letter A – Teaching The Letter A
The letter A has a number of different sounds. The different sounds of the letter A can vary from a regular sound, to a hollow sound and even a sharp sound. It is very important that your child learns to pronounce the letter A properly and this will come from practice.
Regular sounds of A are spoken from the front of the mouth and examples of this are:
The hollow sounds of A are spoken from the back of the mouth and some examples of this are:
Finally sharp A sounds are spoken from the front of the mouth. Examples are:
It is sometimes easier to group the sounds into 2 categories which are known as the long and short A sounds.
When you are teaching the letter A to your child then practice is essential. This starts by reading a lot with your toddler, and finding books that have a lot of examples of the letter A in them. This should include picture books, nursery rhymes and letter A books which are especially dedicated to the letter.
If your child has the letter A in their name, then help them to understand this and to recognize the letter. If the letter A is not in their name, then try and find a family member or someone they would know that has this. You could even use “dad” as an example here. You can expand this by using other names that begin with the letter A:
Start with easy ones such as:
As your child becomes more confident you can move on to more difficult A names:
Make It Fun
Make sure that you associate fun with learning about A. You can get letter A worksheets which will show pictures of letter A words that are drawn in a fun way. These letter A pictures will help to reinforce the learning of the various sounds.
Another fun way to teach the letter A is by using a letter A video and letter A songs. There are many fun videos and songs out there, and below is a great example of a video which contains a letter A song for kids.
Videos and songs work well because your child will be interested in the animation of the video and the melody of the song. Sing these letter A songs together with your child and they will be begging you to watch the video over and over!
Some Fun Letter A Activities
Young children love animals, so you can play a game where you show them pictures of animals that begin with A. Start with easy letter A animals that your child is likely to know, such as alligator, ant and antelope. When your child becomes more confident, you can move on to animals they might not have heard of such as the aardvark, albatross and the armadillo.
It doesn’t have to be just about animals that start with the letter A. You can talk about other animal words with the letter A in them such as cat, bat, kangaroo and panda. Ask your child to show you where the letter A occurs in the animal’s name.
Common A Words
As well as animal names, you can use commonly spoken words in everyday life, and have fun teaching the letter A to your child. One of the most common things that begin with letter A is an apple. There are other great examples such as arm, air, airplane, angel, ankle, April, apron, asleep and so on.
Use examples all of the time here. For instance, you can show your child a bowl of fruit and ask them which one begins with A. Or you can point to various body parts including your arm and your ankle and ask your child to tell you which parts begin with A.
Preschool letter A training can then be further developed by teaching your child common words with the letter A in them. Again start with the easy words such as cat, car, can, water, bag, van, has, name, game and so on.
It should not be difficult for you to find items starting with the letter A in your home. Your child will know what most of the items are, so it will be easier for them to relate to them and understand that the letter A appears in the words.
Pictures of the letter A in its upper case and lower case form are very important to use when you are teaching your child. After a while you can ask them to practice writing the different A letter forms.
You can find pictures of the letter A and words containing the letter everywhere. There are a lot of resources on the Internet and books available. When your child is young, it will be better to use funny illustrations with the words spelt in large letters beneath the object.
Learning with pictures is a lot more fun than just reading text, and your child will remember the funny illustrations. Always remember that teaching the letter A should be fun at all times for your child. They will want to learn more this way.
Phonics Of The Letter A
With every letter of the alphabet that your child learns it is important that they learn the correct sounds that the letter can make. This is known as phonics instruction and your child will need to understand the different phonemes (sounds) that the letter A can make.
English Alphabet LETTER A SOUNDS:
The 1st letter, A is a vowel and a letter in the alphabet. It can be a long and a short sound as in bank or bait. It is a voiced sound because the vocal cords vibrate when it is uttered.
A = long A sound
a = short a sound
CAT: /c/ /a/ /t/
CLAP: /c/ /l/ /a/ /p/
TANK: /t/ /a/ /n/ /k/
Exercises for /a/
1. Before you begin, print a piece of paper or index card for the Letter A/a/
2. Also print a piece of paper with words for A: [Use ours or create your own]
3. Show your child the Letter on the index card or paper and repeat the letter sound several times:
4. SHORT a Sound: “ah” sound
5. LONG A Sound: “ae” sound as in gate, fate, mate
6. Listen carefully as your child repeats the sound after you
7. Ask your child if APPLE has the small /a/ sound and wait to see the response. Always repeat the word using the letter sound to be sure your child knows the sound
8. Continue to repeat other short /a/ words such as FAT, MAT, CAT, BATH, and long A words such as LATE, GATE, SKATE, MATE
9. Finalize the lesson by asking your child to tell you the sound of the letters
2 Year Old Joy Reading! (She Is Learning to Read Through A Combination Of Synthetic Phonics And phonemic Awareness Development)
Printable Letter A Worksheets
Free printable worksheets that greatly help your child to practice the letter A and its /a/ sound (Ideal for ages 2-7):
Use A Proven Reading Program To Teach Your Child Not Only The Letter A But To Read Everything And Become A Fluent And Fast Reader
One of the best ways to teach your child to read is by using a reading program that has been proven to teach young children how to read. When choosing such a program, it is highly recommended that a “phonics based” system is used. This will help with learning the letter A and all the other letters of the alphabet.
A very good example of a reading program that has helped thousands of children to learn to read, and enjoy the process, is Jim Yang’s Children Learning Reading. The program only requires tuition for 5-15 minutes each day and it is very reasonably priced. Jim taught his three children to read when they were just 2 years old with the methods in Children Learning Reading, and you can find out more about it here.
5 Year Old Raine Reading a “Technical” Book! (She Learned to Read Using Jim’s Children Learning Reading Program)
Please go to the next section where you will learn some great ways to teach the letter B.