In a nutshell
Some kids have trouble with this letter. Its usage is a good example of why English is quite a tricky language: instead of just having its familiar ‘g is for gorilla’ sound, ‘g’ also regularly has a ‘g is for giraffe’ sound.
As always, remember that these are just guides and there are exceptions – for example, ‘get’ and ‘girl’. The best way for a new reader to learn how to pronounce ‘g’ is to read lots and lots of books – and the best way to get them to do this is to inspire a love of reading in them!
This tongue twister is a fun way to reinforce the ‘g is for gorilla’ pronunciation of ‘g’. See whether your child is able to say this correctly five times in a row – and see if you can beat their time.
Gus the groundhog gathered goodies from Gail’s garden.
Sesame Street Clip
Here is a nice scene from Sesame Street all about the letter g:
There are some other, less common pronunciations of the letter g – when they do crop up in your child’s reading you might like to take advantage of the opportunity to point them out and explain them.
How not to pronounce ‘ing’
In most of the English speaking world, there is no hard ‘g’ sound at the end of ‘ing’. Many newcomers to English find this hard to avoid – or don’t know that they should be avoiding it. This short clip shows you the correct way to say ‘ing’:
‘I Spy’ words
‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with…’ is a great game to play to reinforce the sound that a letter makes and it can be a fun game to kill some time – for example on a long car trip.
Here is a selection of short words starting with ‘g’ for you to use:
gym, grape, game, gem, gate, gap, goose, gift, goal, gray, green, goat, gold, grandma, grandpa, golf ball.
This letter g worksheet gives your child lots of opportunities to practice writing capital G.
This letter g worksheet focuses on the lower case letter g. Given that the small ‘g’ is one of the five letters which finish below the line it is a good one to practice.
This worksheet gives your child an introduction to the sound that ‘g’ makes, and also allows them to practice writing the capital and lower case letter g.
This worksheet introduces the ‘other’ sound that ‘g’ makes – the ‘g is for giraffe’ sound.
Quite a few simple English words contain the ‘gr’ sound – this worksheet gives your child the chance to practice reading it.
The ‘gl’ sound is also encountered quite frequently and this worksheet gives six examples of it.