The first uni-literal hieroglyph is called aleph.
It depicts a vulture.
This sound began to disappear in Middle Egyptian and was sometimes replaced by a glottal stop (like each of the syllables in "uh-oh"). For convenience, it may be pronounced like the a in "father."
The transliteration is A.
The picture above shows how this hieroglyph often appears in typeset books. A simplified version of writing this sign, useful for homework, is shown below in a step-by-step drawing:
We've compiled some Study Tips for help in memorizing this hieroglyph and the following ones in these lessons.
When you feel confident that you have memorized this sign, on to the next hieroglyph: Lesson 1b - reed leaf