Help Your Child Get Ready to Read

Chevy Chase Library

Help Your Child Get Ready to Read

Literacy Skill: Alphabet Letter Knowledge

Alphabet letter knowledge is when children understand that letters look different from each other, that the letters have names, and that letters relate to specific units of sounds or phonemes.  Research states that letter knowledge is the most important predictor of skills supporting reading success by linking sounds together to decode text.
Most children are ready to recognize letters by sight long before they are ready to translate them into sound.

There are many opportunities to make learning letters FUN. Don’t use flashcards with young children.
Point out shapes to young children; let them feel the shapes, and look for shapes in letters.
•Have children match items, shapes, pictures that are same and different. “D and B are not the same. They are different.”Use foam letters, magnetic letters flannel to spell your child’s name. Those letters are special – find more letters that look like those in the name. Practice the sounds that those letters make.
Sing alphabet songs, like ABC or B-I-N-G-O.
Choose a letter in a story and find all the same letters.
Make letters from play dough, clay, pasta, pretzels using circles and stick lines.
Have preschoolers use a variety of materials to scribble, draw and write on paper, in the dirt or sand etc.
When you talk about the letters say the names of the letters as well as the sound it makes.Young children can hear the sound of the letter most easily when it is at the beginning of the word.

Some good books to develop ABC skills are:

26 Letters and 99 Cents by Tana Hoban
Alphabears: An ABC Book by Kathleen Hague
The Alphabet Tree by Leo Lionni
Chicka, Chicka, Boom Boom by Bill Martin
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
I’m Not Scared by Jonathan Allen
Not a Stick, by Antoinette Portis
Round Like a Ball by Lis Campbell Ernst