Letter Knowledge

LETTER KNOWLEDGE is…

  • Recognizing that letters are different from each other
  • Knowing that letters have different names and sounds
  • Recognizing letters everywhere

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?  Knowing the names and sounds of letters helps children figure out how to sound out written words (decoding).

BUILD THE SKILL:
Children learn language through meaningful experiences, not in the abstract. Recognizing shapes comes before recognizing the shapes of letters.

Babies

  • Read and re-read bright, colorful board books.
  • Talk to them about their world all day long.
  • Let babies mouth books and toys. This is their first way of exploring shape.

Toddlers

  • Play with shape sorters, sorting shapes that are the same into groups.
  • Do simple puzzles to match shapes and to begin developing visual discrimination.
  • Point out shapes in the environment.
  • Point out the first letter in your child’s name.

Preschoolers

  • Point out letters in the environment.
  • Look at Alphabet books with clear, simple fonts.
  • Make letters using play-dough, paint, etc.
  • Letter Hunt: search for a letter in books and magazines.
  • Play “I Spy”: Look for objects that start with a letter and sound it out.