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The Letter A

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Basics on the topic The Letter A

Introduction to the Letter A

Let's dive into the exciting world of letters by starting at the very beginning of the alphabet with the letter A. It's not only the first letter of the alphabet, but also a cornerstone in building our language skills. Whether you're reading or writing, recognising and knowing the sounds of the letter A is very important!

Understanding the Letter A – Definition and Sounds

The letter A is the first letter in the English alphabet. It makes the sound /a/ as in apple.

When combined with other letters, the letter a can make an /ay/ sound as in play, cake and rain. This versatile letter appears in many words, and mastering its sounds is essential for early reading development.

What sound does the letter a make?
Can you name a word that has the /a/ sound?
Which is the first vowel in the English alphabet?

Writing the Letter A – How to?

Writing the letter a, whether it is a capital or lower case letter, is very easy! Read the text, follow the instructions and complete exercises on our webpage for more. Follow the steps below to write a pre-cursive letter a.

Step Instruction
1 Start on the black line 27740_WritingTheLetterA_2-12.svg
2 Whoosh to the blue line. 27740_WritingTheLetterA_2-11.svg
3 Form a curly c shape. 27740_WritingTheLetterA_2-10.svg
4 Join back up to the top with a straight line. 27740_WritingTheLetterA_2-09.svg
5 Come straight back down and finish with a small flick. 27740_WritingTheLetterA_2-08.svg

The Letter A – Example Sentences and Words

Let's look at the letter a in action! The capital A might be used at the beginning of a sentence: "A cat sat on the mat." Here, the letter A appears as a word and as the second letter in "cat" with its short /a/ sound.

The lowercase 'a' might appear in the middle or end of words, like in "banana" or "spa," where it can make different sounds depending on the word.

Words with the Letter A

Because the letter a is so common, you can spot it in many words. Take a look at the table with commonly used words that begin with, contain or end with the letter a:

Begin With Contain End With
after man a
about pan tuna
all sat pita
am has llama

The Letter A – Summary

Key Learnings from this Text:

  • The letter a is the first letter and vowel of the English alphabet.
  • It can make different sounds in different words but we commonly associate it with the /a/ sound as in apple.
  • Recognising both capital "A" and lower case "a" is important for reading and writing.

Keep practising the letter a with fun activities and crafts, and soon you'll be able to spot it everywhere!

The Letter A – Frequently Asked Questions

What are the two sounds of the letter A?
Is the letter a always pronounced the same in every word?
Can the letter A be a word by itself?
What is an example of a word that starts with the letter A?
How do you teach a child to write the letter A?
Why is it important for children to learn the letter a?
Do vowels always make the same sound in every word?
What crafts can help children learn the letter a?
How can I help my child remember the sounds of the letter a?
What are some activities that can reinforce learning the letter a?

Transcript The Letter A

Let’s join Dee and Kala in the phonics garden and learn all about /a/. This is the letter A, it makes the sound /a/. This is a capital /A/ and this is a lower case /a/. They both make the /a/ sound like in apple, arrow and ant ! Let's practise the /a/ sound with Kala! "/A/, /a/!" Can you spy anything in the garden that begins with /a/? "There's an astronaut, that starts with /a/!" Is there anything else in the garden that starts with /a/? "There's an avocado that also begins with /a/!" Uh-oh! /A/ is hiding with the other letters! Can you help find /a/ in the alphabet? Point to the letter when you find it! Did you also point here? You did some great work in the phonics garden! Today we learnt all about /a/, we listened to and made the /a/ sound, we found words that begin with /a/ and found it in the alphabet! Interested in a challenge? Watch this video again and try to find the anchor, alligator and axe hidden in the garden! Comment below when and where you find them! If you want to learn more, check out the next sound!

The Letter A exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video The Letter A.
  • Which one is the correct letter?


    Listen carefully to the sound, play it again and think about what you can hear.

    This is an ___.

    Look again at the picture above. What sound does this word start with?


    The correct letter is a. This makes the /a/ sound.

  • What sound does the letter make?


    The word arrow starts with the sound.

    Listen to all four sounds again. Which one is the same as the beginning of the word apple?


    The correct sound is /a/.

  • Find the objects that begin with "a".


    There are 4 items that start with /a/ to highlight.

    Listen to this word. Can you find it in the picture?

    Listen carefully to the names of the objects.


    The four items that begin with a are:

    • anteater
    • arrow
    • antelope
    • abacus
  • What is the word?


    Listen carefully. Which sound do you hear at the beginning?

    Listen carefully. Which sound do you hear at the end?

    Here we can see the words with pictures. Use this to help you find the matching pairs above.


    The words are:

    1. tap
    2. bat
    3. sack
    4. cap
  • Help Kala find the objects that begin with "a".


    Listen to the sound. Which words begin with this sound?

    Say all of the items out loud. In which ones do you hear the /a/ sound at the beginning?

    There are two correct choices.


    Alpaca and apple start with /a/.

  • Can you put the words in the correct group?


    Listen carefully to this word. Do you hear a at the beginning or in the middle?

    Think carefully about the first sound that you hear, is it a or a different sound?

    There are 2 words that begin with a and 4 words that have a in the middle.


    Astronaut and add have a at the beginning.

    Hat, lamb, fan and crab have a in the middle.