La eñe, or the Spanish letter Ñ, is one of kids’ favorite letters and also one of mine. Why? Well, who doesn’t love a letter with a toupee? The craft and fine-motor activities alone make this fun. We’ll talk about the other reasons I love this letter below. If you want to jump straight to the free Spanish Letter Ñ Worksheet, scroll to the bottom and click the “Download/Descargar” button. Otherwise, on to the fascinating history of the hatted letter!
Pronunciation and Brief History
The “official” name of the Spanish “Ñ” is «la eñe». Its pronunciation is fairly steady across the Spanish-speaking world, and while the letter is probably most often identified with the Spanish language, it actually appears in other languages, such as Filipino and Galician.
However, what I think makes la eñe especially intriguing is that it wasn’t always part of the Spanish alphabet.
The abbreviated history of how the letter N got its “hat” is that, in order to save space, ink, and paper, which were all obscenely expensive at the time, and also because monks got really tired of copying words with double “n”s over and over again (probably while thinking, “Why does Spanish have so many words with the “eh-nyeh” sound?!), they started adding the tilde above the first N and leaving off the second.
Eventually, as in hundreds of years later, the Real Academia Española made the “N with tilde” an official part of the alphabet. I mean, after all, the sound IS in their name and the name of the actual language.
Interested in the longer version of the story? Check out the English-language video below.
- Forming capital “Ñ”
- Forming lowercase “Ñ”
- Identifying capital “Ñ”
- Identifying lowercase “Ñ”
- Familiarization with “Ñ” vocabulary and a common infinitive
- la eñe
In this two-page printable, you’ll find PK-1st grade oriented activities involving «la eñe», such as practicing formation of capital letters (mayúsculas) and lowercase letters (minúsculas) and being introduced to “Ñ” vocabulary. Because of the age group targeted, directions are scaffolded in English and Spanish or use English/Spanish cognates.
Newsletter subscribers can download the bilingual A-Z pack, including ñ, as one free file in the email-Subscriber’s Library.
¿buscas algo totalmente en español? Hay una versión en español (A-Z, incluyendo la eñe) en la misma página gratuita para personas en nuestra lista de correo. Subscríbete aquí para recibir notificaciones de nuevas entradas, noticias y acceso a la biblioteca de recursos.
Ideas for Use
Students in preschool and kindergarten will likely benefit most from this worksheet, but this free Spanish Letter Ñ worksheet is great for any student who needs a little extra letter and Spanish vocabulary practice.