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Learning the Letter Sound of X "ks"

The letter X is the only consonant of the alphabet that actually has two parts to the sound it makes - sort of a combination of the /k/ and /s/ sounds linked together. So the sound can be written as "ks". You can think of it like so:

BOX - /b/ /o/ /x/ - "BO-KS"

FIX - /f/ /i/ /x/ - "FI-KS" 

Below is a short video showing our 3 year old reading and working on letter X words and sentences.

The /ks/ sound of letter X is the most common, and it is what you'll see in most words. However, X can also make a /z/ type of sound, for example, in words as xylophone, and the /z/ sound of letter X is rarely seen. It can also be found in certain names such as "Xerox".

With that said, it is always our effort to avoid confusion, and stick with the basic code, and so we only start off teaching the "ks" sound and not the /z/ sound of X. Activities and worksheets are provided below.

Learning Activity for /x/

  1. Show the letter X to your child and demonstrate how to make the /ks/ sound.
  2. Ask your child to make the /ks/ sound several times.
  3. Work with the word list provided above - emphasize the /ks/ sound in each word.
  4. Phoneme identification activity: ask your child to locate and then say the /ks/ sound in each of the above words.
  5. Phoneme substitution:
    1. If we get rid of the /o/ sound in FOX and put in an /a/ sound, what word is it now? (FAX)
    2. How about if we put in an /i/ sound instead? (FIX)
    3. Remove the /a/ sound from MAX and put in an /i/ sound, what is it now? (MIX)
    4. Remove the /ks/ sound from MAX and put in a /t/ sound, what word does it become? (MAT)
  6. Work on the letter X worksheet provided below, and also read the rhyme.

Letter X Worksheets