The letter Q is a challenging letter and it comes with challenging vocabulary. These lists of Q words for kids may just be the challenge your high-achieving students need. Many of them aren't used in daily conversation, which will appeal to kids' curiosity. For students inclined to be curious about language, here are Q words lists by grade level.
Words That Start With Q For Kids
1st Grade Words That Start With Q
Despite the challenging nature of Q words, it's vital that vocabulary for your youngest learners be simple, straightforward and meaningful. The key at this grade level is to link the words to clear, concrete images and concepts. These will form the foundation of future linguistic development.
Quack: Sound a duck makes
Quarter: One of four parts
Quartz: Rock crystal
Queen: Female monarch
Question: A statement looking for an answer
Quilt: Blanket made of smaller pieces of cloth
Quit: Stop doing something
Quiz: Short list of questions
For your youngest learners, our Q letter activities will be blessedly easy. We at YourDictionary are great believers in interdisciplinary learning, especially for kids: making connections between visual symbols and spoken sounds is, after all, what language is all about. With that in mind, we've developed a trace-the-letter activity focusing on Q-words. Download it below and print it off for your students.
2nd Grade Words That Start With Q
Many of your 2nd grade students will likely have never encountered any of these words before. Visual aids, such as a picture of a quail or an online animation of a quivering bowl of Jell-O, can help your younger students make key linguistic connections.
Quail: A small, plump kind of bird
Quake: To shake hard
Quaver: To tremble gently
Quest: A job with a specific goal
Queue: A line of people waiting for something
Quicken: To speed up
Quince: A fruit used to make jelly
Quip: A quick joke
Quiver: To shake gently
Quote: One person's words, said by another person
To improve retention, encourage learning by association. In explaining the words, connect "quest" with "question" and "quicken" with "quick" to help lay foundations for a fuller understanding of English.
3rd Grade Words That Start With Q
By this age, your students may have started to catch up with your vocabulary. They may not have this entire list down, but there's a good chance they've come across "quality" or "quart." Make sure they get positive reinforcement for recognizing these words.
Quality: A characteristic, or something with good characteristics
Quantity: Amount of something
Quart: Measurement of liquid; one-fourth of a gallon
Quartet: Group of four, especially musicians
Quash: To stop, to make go away
Quench: To put out or stop, especially a fire
Quickie: Something done fast
Quill: A feather or a narrow spine, as on a porcupine
Quintet: Group of five, especially musicians
This list is an excellent opportunity to introduce the most important rule for Q words: always followed by U. Except when they aren't. We've assembled a quiz to drive home this key rule of English spelling.
4th Grade Words That Start With Q
The recognition that began in 3rd grade will likely increase in 4th grade. Our list of Q words and letter Q activities are created to reinforce your student's knowledge and make sure they retain it.
Quadruple: To do something four times
Quaff: To drink
Qualify: To be judged ready for, to be entitled to
Qualm: Concern, worry
Quarry: A place where stone is dug up for building
Quell: To stop something from happening
Query: To ask questions of
Quibble: To argue over a minor detail
Quicksand: Sand suspended in water
Quintuple: To do something five times over
To help your students with this challenging list, tell them about the meaning of the "quad-" and "quint-" prefix. Associate "query" with "question" in their minds. Ask if they've seen a quicksand scene in a movie, and show a non-scary video clip if you've got it. New words means a blank slate. Make sure it's filled with something memorable.
5th Grade Words That Start With Q
Activities in 5th grade should encourage students to consider the larger scope of the language they're learning. Vocabulary still begins with memorization, but grows through context and leads to lifelong literacy.
Quadrangle: A four-sided shape, such as a square or rectangle
Quadruped: Animal that walks on four legs
Quadruplet: One of four babies born at once
Quarantine: Isolation for medical reasons
Quarterback: Leader of the offensive team in American football
Quartering: Providing shelter to
Quetzal: A long-tailed, brightly colored bird native to Central and South America
Quintuplet: One of five babies born at once
Quorum: Enough people to start a meeting
Quota: The number of things needed for a task
Many of these words can serve as inspiration for creative tasks. In particular, if you have a very verbal group, their polysyllabic nature makes them perfect for spelling bees. Etymology trivia also fits here, with "quad," "quint" and the direct import from Latin "quorum" all making appearances. Encourage students to consider how the words came to be what they are.
Quizzes, Queries and Questions
Q is a rare letter and it comes with rare words. That's a good thing! Challenging vocabulary may not be an ideal match for every student, but it can also ignite a lifelong love affair with language. When your students are comfortable enough in their vocabulary to ask questions, pose queries and generally question this most quizzical of letters, you'll know you've got them hooked.
For more enriching vocabulary and etymology, take a look at our words starting with E! Enable those eager learners with more expressions!