It is not uncommon to see students spell words such as quick as kwik or squirt as sqwirt. Of course, many readers struggle with the visual differences between the p and q and although there are several fonts that show the “ q ” with a tail, most text does not. And who can forget the traditional classroom alphabet charts in which the letter “ q ” sits alone, in complete solitude–right next to the letter “ r ”?
Some Ways to Address the “ q ” Confusion
1. I draw the q with a u-shaped tail. I cover up the top part of the q and show how the “ q ” and “ u ” are already attached. To watch a video explaining this, CLICK HERE!
2. Then, students write the “ q ” sound and say, “ Q . . .uuuuuuuuu says /kw/ ,” emphasizing the “ u ” while making the u-shaped tail. To watch a video explaining this, CLICK HERE!
3. Story Connection: So, how did “ q ” and “ u ” really meet? You know . . . before they were married and “joined” their sounds forever?
How it Really Happened
Mr. ” Q ” decided to impress Ms. ” U ” by showing off one of his famous karate moves. “Kw…!” Ms ” U ” was so scared that she threw up her arms and cried, ” Ŭ “! But very soon after, it was true love. Mr. Q and Ms. U decided that their sounds were better together, just like the two of them.
Written by Jennifer L. Padgett, M. Ed.
Jennifer is a Literacy Specialist, K-12