Letter knowledge enables a child to recognize all the letters of the alphabet, in both capital letter and lowercase form, and to know the names and sounds of each. It is often assumed that if children can recite all the letters of the alphabet, like they do in the alphabet song, then they know their letters. However, the skill of letter knowledge involves much more than that. To know and understand letters, children must also learn to recognize them individually and out of order, as well as embedded within words. They also need to know that letters in text can look different in different fonts, and that printed letters look different from handwritten letters.
With letter knowledge, children learn that the purpose of letters and their sounds is to create words, and that words convey information and allow us to communicate. Familiarity with letters is also important for children when they learn to read because it helps them develop strong decoding skills. Research shows that children with good letter knowledge have the greatest chance of future reading success.
In the All About Reading Pre-reading program, children will learn the skill of letter knowledge through a variety of activities that include rhyming and word games, craft sheets, riddles, and match-up worksheets. They will use the alphabet charts, sing the alphabet song, and locate letters in text. To your children, the lessons will seem like playtime; you, however, will have the satisfaction of knowing that as your children “play,” they will actually be learning the valuable skill of letter knowledge.