Letter knowledge includes recognition and naming of letter names and letter sounds.
How can I help?
- Use the letters in your child’s name at first.
- For example, write your child’s first name in large clear print and then have him or her match magnetic letters to the letters you wrote. As you play the matching game, say the names of the letters and talk about their shapes: “Letter A is tall and pointy. Can you find the letter A that looks like this?” Begin with the first letter in your child’s name and add one letter at a time. Emphasize recognizing (pointing to) letters first, not necessarily naming them.
- Create games where you provide clues to help your child identify and locate the letter shape and letter sound of a specific letter.
- For example, write the letters of your child’s name on index cards or sticky notes. Arrange the cards in obvious places throughout the room. Give your child a clue to help him or her find a specific letter. For example for the lowercase letter m, you might say, “I see a letter with two humps that makes the sound “mmm.” Each time your child locates a letter, say the letter name and letter sound together.
- Use print and pictures in books to practice letter recognition.
- For example, instead of just reading alphabet books as they are written, touch the letters and sing the alphabet song together.
- Help your child make connections to the sounds of letters.
- Associate the letter with a picture, object or material that begins with the same sound as the letter. For example, create letters from different materials your child can feel (rough paper for letter Rr, pipe cleaners for letter Pp, textured wallpaper for letter Ww, sandpaper for letter Ss). Encourage your child to say the letter name and sound as he or she traces the textured letters.