As parents we want our children to be able to learn to read. Letter recognition is a predictor of a beginning reader’s success in learning how to read. We need to help our children develop Alphabet Knowledge. “Alphabet knowledge means being able to recognize, name, and write all the upper and lower case of letters of the alphabet and give the sound of the consonants.” (Pado, F. 2007)
Goals for Our Little Reader
Our goals in developing Alphabet Knowledge are the following: We should help our child know that each letter of the alphabet has a name; is written in a certain way; and has a distinct sound.
To develop these skills, we should teach our kids the alphabet. Singing the Alphabet Song is a good way to introduce letters, letter sounds and letter forms. We should read books to our children everyday. I got this Dr. Seuss’ ABC Book and it is perfect for teaching letter and sound recognition.
Our target for our little readers is that they should be able to do the following:
• Identify the letters of the alphabet.
• Match the upper with lower case.
• Write all the letters of the alphabet, both the upper and the lower case.
• Give the letter that begins the name of a given object/picture.
• Identify the letters in given words.
• Give the sound of each consonant.
How do we start teaching the letters of the Alphabet?
We could start by teaching our little one the most meaningful letter for him which is the beginning letter of his name. If his name is Caleb, we can teach him the sound of “C” and then introduce the letter form. Write both the upper and lower case letters. Next, present words that begin with the letter “C” such as cat, car, cab, corn, and more.
We can integrate teaching letter recognition in his daily activities. For example while daddy is washing the car we could point out that car begins with “c” and the sound of “c”. The letter C has two sounds the hard “C” such as cat and the soft “C” cement. We teach the sound of the hard “C” first for the beginning reader.
Music and letter recognition is a perfect combination. We could sing songs and sound out the target letters such as “Oh Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C”.
Integrating letter recognition with Art is another awesome way to gain alphabet knowledge. Let your child color the Upper and lower case Cc. Another way is to make art forms using the letter Cc or the target letter of the week.
This is an example of a three-year old’s Artwork on learning about the alphabet— its form and sound.
Games and letter recognition are good together too! While inside the car, mommy, daddy and your beginning reader could take turns giving a word that begins with Cc.
You can also check out how to teach the consonants using the Fuller Technique
Pado, F. 2007. Developing Alphabet Knowledge. Hand-outs from Trends and Integrated Approaches in Teaching the Early Grades.