Letter K Sound


The letter /k/ is an important letter for students, and is normally easier for them to remember. This letter having the same sound as the letter /c/, will help students remember that hard letter k sound in words. It will also serve as a base you can refer to with the hard stop sounds. This is also a good letter for students as it is easier to write, with the lowercase and uppercase letter /k/ being the same. Get ready to learn the letter /k/ with your students!

Phonics Pronunciation

The letter /k/ sound is normally taught in phonics with the snapping of the hand as playing the castanets and saying the k-k-k sound. It is also sometimes taught with the word “key”, and turning a key while opening a door. This sound is taught as a hard /k/ sound, and only has this hard sound in English. The /k/ sound can also be taught together with the /c/ sound, for more advanced students or those more familiar with English or English phonics.

The /k/ sound is a stop sound consonant, which means the airflow is stopped and released to make this sound. The release of this air makes the /k/ sound. To make the /k/ sound, put the back of your tongue up against the roof of your mouth towards the back. When your tongue is in this position, push air through and release while lowering your tongue. Remember the positioning of your tongue as a reference for the /k/ sound. You can use this process as a guide when making the sound for your children, if they cannot say it at first.

To help your children understand the /k/ sound, have them slowly copy and repeat the k-k-k sound back to you. You can even have them say the letter “kay-kay”, followed by the k-k-k sound. Once they understand how to make this sound well, you can move onto the vowel combinations such as ka,ka,ka, kee, kee,kee, ko,ko,ko. You can also teach this sound in combination with the letter /c/, for your students better understanding.

Checkout this letter k sound video for help!

Visual hints

If your students have a hard time saying the /k/ sound well, it could be because of the position of their tongue at the roof or at the back of their mouth. You may try this activity to have the student law down on their back. Then, have them try to pronounce the /k/ sound on the ground, as gravity will help naturally put their tongue near the back of their mouth. This may help them say the letter /k/ sound. After they can say the /k/ sound from the ground, stand them back up and have them say the sound for more practice.

As similar with other stop sounds, the /k/ sound is made by stopping and releasing air through your mouth. You can show the students this by putting your hand in front of your mouth as you say the sound, and make the children copy you so that can feel the release of air when saying the /k/ sound. This can show them how to make the sound, and what they are doing wrong.

Handwriting Help with letter /K/

The letter /k/ is a bit easier for students, as it is three straight lines, and the upper and lowercase /k/ is the same shape. Be sure though that they are writing /k/ in the write order, with the letter /l/ first, then the top diagonal line and bottom diagonal line. Some students may not learn the correct order on how to write /k/, so will have a hard time moving from tracing /k/ to writing in on their own.

If the student is having a hard time writing the letter /k/, it could be because they have a hard time writing straight or diagonal lines. This is usually due to their pencil grip or their muscles in their hands are not developed yet.

You can try to trace the letter /k/ at first, either with their finger, pencil, or line up small objects in the shape of the letter /k/. There’s good teaching materials and phonics books online for this. Alternatively, you can have them practice to develop their hand muscle strength, by having them play with play doh or crumpling paper. This will ultimately strengthen their muscles in their hands, which will help them to hold a pencil and write better.

If your child still struggles with this sound, checkout some ABC books to help them out.

Letter /K/ Blending

The /k/ sound is an important sound, as it is usually the easier stop sound, and can be pronounced by many students at an early age. Therefore, be sure that the students fully understand how to pronounce and recognize this letter before moving on to harder blending. Once the student can say the /k/ sound well, you can add the different vowel combinations as in ka,ka,ka, kee,kee,kee, and ko,ko,ko.

After the student can do the basic blending well, you can introduce them to the three letter CVC words as in k-i-d, k-e-g, k-i-ss. The letter /k/ appears in many words, so there are many chances for you to practice the letter /k/ sound with the student.

Also as important is the letter /k/ sound at the end of the word. This is important for reading and blending, as the /k/ sound will act as the ending of the word, and may sound a bit different for students at the end. Thus, be sure to spend plenty of time also practicing the words that end in /k/, such as i-n-k, y-a-k, a-s-k. Blending the /k/ sound at the 

If your student can learn and blend this well, you can start to introduce them to 4 letter words such as b-a-ck, b-a-nk, and p-i-nk. The reason for this is many English words end with the consonant blend /ck/ and /nk/. So, its even more important that you student understands how to blend with wording ending in /k/, to set them up well down the road.

Checkout our Top 25 phonics books for reading letters

Everyday English

After the students can remember the say the letter /k/ well, you can move onto introducing them to everyday words. This will help their English vocabulary and also for their phonics too!

Many fun animals start with the letter /k/, such as Kangaroo, Kitten and Koala bear. You can jump around and pretend to be a Kangaroo!

There are lots of everyday objects students can see with /k/, like key, kite, and ketchup. You can pretend to fly a kite on a nice day.

Letter /k/ sentence reading

After learning how to say and blend words with the letter /k/, it’s good to introduce basic sentences to the children to read. These sentences are meant to be basic for students learning the alphabet letters and phonics as their second language.

Here are some short sentences with /k/ you can read together with the students.

I like Kit Kat

Kim is a kid

A pig and a yak.

A pen has ink.

I kick a can.

It’s important your students practice reading short sentences, so they gain the confidence and can practice their blending skills. Therefore, encourage your students to read these sentences to improve their phonics and blending with the letter /k/ !

Letter K tongue twisters

The letter /k/ tongue twister can be really fun to stay and practice over and over again. Get ready for some fun /k/ tongue twisters!

Come kick six sticks quick.

Ken quite likes Kate. Kate doesn’t care for Ken.

Ken catches Kate and kisses her quickly.

Kate cries, kicks and screams.

Ken cowers in the corner.

Ken cures Kate with a quick cup of coffee and a cream cake.

Kiss her quick, kiss her quicker, kiss her quickest!

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