Don't quit on Q! It may be one of the more challenging letters of the alphabet, but there are lots of Q words for kids to add to your vocabulary list. For students inclined to be curious about language, here are several lists of things that start with Q as well as engaging class activities.
Despite the challenging nature of Q words, vocabulary for preschoolers and kindergartners should be simple, straightforward and meaningful. The key at this grade level is to link common sight words to clear, concrete images and concepts. Use these Q words for kids in your next reading or vocabulary lesson.
- Quack: Sound a duck makes
- Queen: Female ruler
- Quick: Fast
- Quiet: Not making noise
- 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. Try out a trace-the-letter activity focusing on Q-words. Download it below and print it off for your students.
Young learners can practice their Q word vocabulary with a fun printable worksheet. They match common Q words to the corresponding pictures, which they can also color. Download and print the worksheet below.
Q words for kids matching activityClick to View & Download
Many of your 1st and 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
- Quality: A characteristic, or something with good characteristics
- Quantity: Amount of something
- Quarrel: Argument
- Quart: Measurement of liquid; one-fourth of a gallon
- Quarter: One of four parts
- Quartet: Group of four, especially musicians
- Quartz: Rock crystal
- Quash: To stop, to make go away
- Quench: To put out or stop, especially a fire
- Quest: A job with a specific goal
- Question: A statement looking for an answer
- Queue: A line of people waiting for something
- Quicken: To speed up
- Quill: A feather or a narrow spine, as on a porcupine
- Quince: A fruit used to make jelly
- Quintet: Group of five, especially musicians
- Quip: A quick joke
- Quirky: Peculiar or unique, not like other people
- 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. See if they can turn other Q words into different parts of speech.
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 mean a blank slate. Make sure it's filled with something memorable.
Activities in upper elementary grades three, four and five 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. Use these Q words for kids in your next vocabulary list or spelling activity.
- Quadrangle: A four-sided shape, such as a square or rectangle
- Quadruped: Animal that walks on four legs
- Quadruple: To do something four times
- Quadruplet: One of four babies born at once
- Quaff: To drink
- Quagmire: A problem with no obvious solution
- Qualify: To be judged ready for, to be entitled to
- Qualm: Concern, worry
- Quarantine: Isolation for medical reasons
- Quarterback: Leader of the offensive team in American football
- Quartering: Providing shelter to
- Quarry: A place where stone is dug up for building
- Quell: To stop something from happening
- Query: To ask questions of
- Quetzal: A long-tailed, brightly colored bird native to Central and South America
- Quibble: To argue over a minor detail
- Quiche: A French pastry made with egg and cheese
- Quicksand: Sand suspended in water
- Quinceañera: A celebration for 15-year-olds in Mexican culture
- Quintuple: To do something five times over
- 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.
This list is an excellent opportunity to introduce the most important rule for Q words: always followed by U — except when they aren't. Download and print a quiz to drive home this key rule of English spelling.
Words that start q quizClick to View & Download
You may not believe it, but there are even more Q words than featured above! Check our WordFinder's list of words that start with the letter Q. The advanced search fields let you search by word length or letters included.
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 these words that start with R. They're reading, raring and really rigorous!