The Letter W
Alphabet GamesThe letter W is used a lot in the English language — especially by kids. Why? Because the letter W is the letter of the alphabet that begins most of the question words, words like who, what, where, why, and when. On a frequency-of-use chart W falls at number 17, but in classroom speaking, listening, reading, and writing the frequency of the letter W is probably much higher. That’s because so many classroom materials and discussions are designed around questions. It’s also true that active and engaged children are curious. They ask questions to find out about the world around them. Help your students learn to identify the letter W by connecting it visually with the question words they know. Before you start a discussion, print question words that start with W on an index card or a piece of paper. During the discussion, hold up the appropriate card every time it gets used by yourself or a student. This makes a great language arts activity when discussing a story or nonfiction piece you have read to the class. Focus on the characters (who), the setting (where), the action (what), or the time the story or events took place (when). In a small group, students can have their own W word cards and hold up the appropriate card for the question that was asked. They’ll be cementing letter recognition and gaining reading fluency at the same time!