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BLAST Early Learning
Teacher Spotlight: Letter Knowledge

Letter knowledge means knowing that letters are different from each other, that the same letter can look different, and that each letter has a name and is related to specific sounds.

Among the skills that are traditionally evaluated, the one that appears to be the strongest predictor of reading success on its own is letter identification. In writing systems like ours, which is alphabetic, children learn to decode written words by connecting units of print. A child who is learning how to read and cannot recognize and tell one letter in the alphabet apart from another will have a hard time learning the sounds that those letters make.

Sample Activities:

  • Point out shapes.
  • Let children feel different shapes.
  • Give opportunities to have children match and see how things are alike and different.
  • Have children make a letter with their body.
  • Have children make a letter with their fingers.
  • Use a manual alphabet for some words in theme or book.
  • Use an alphabet book even if you don't go through all the letters.
  • Use variations of the BINGO song.
  • Use nametags for both children and adults.
  • Give children the opportunity to write after storytime or encourage it as an at-home activity.
  • Allow participants to write their own names (legible or not).