Thursday, January 27, 2011

Teaching Letter Knowledge in Preschool

Over the last few years our school district has really wanted their early childhood program to concentrate on language and literacy development. So to meet the needs of the district and the children that we serve in our classrooms the decision was made to incorporate a letter study in our weekly curriculum.

In this letter study we would be working on letter knowledge, phonemic awareness and concepts of print, since early skills in alphabetic serve as a strong predictor of reading success.

Letter Knowledge

Letter knowledge- is knowing that letters are different from each other and that each letter has a different name and sound.

What are we looking for?
That each child has the ability to tell the name of the letter and what sound it makes.

Why is letter knowledge important?
In order for children to read written words they must have an understanding that each word is made up of individual letters and that each letter has its own sound to form the word.

Phonemic Awareness and Phonics

What is Phonemic Awareness?
Knowing that words are comprised of a sequence of spoken sounds

What is Phonics?
The relationship between written letters and their sounds

What strategies can we use to teach Phonemic Awareness and Phonics?
• Phonological Awareness (Hearing individual sounds in words)
• Phonemic Isolation (Identifying and manipulating sounds)
• Phonemic Identity (Recognizing same sounds in a different word)
• Phonemic Categorization (Recognizing words that don’t belong)
• Segmenting (Breaking a word into its separate sounds)
• Rhyming
• Blending (Putting together separate sounds)

To make learning about letter knowledge fun for the children and to keep them engaged in the process I created a puppet for introducing the letters and the letter sounds.

I named her Lilly Letter Lady. This puppet allowed me to be repetitive with the learning process. She also was able to become child like and funny about learning the letters. I found that the children were eager to learn about the letters when they knew that Lilly Letter Lady was coming for a visit.

Here is how it works

Lilly letter lady introduce new letters of interest. She sings the Found a Letter song with the children and introduces new letter sounds using items that begin with that sound. Children help Lilly Letter Lady identify all the objects that are in her bag of tricks.

Found a Letter

(tune: Found a Peanut)

Found a letter, Found a letter,
Found a letter "C" Today.
Oh, Today I found a letter,
Found a letter "C" Today.
(Use any letter in place of "C".)
~ Author Unknown

Each bag has the letter on the front with pictures that begin with that letter sound. 


  1. You have some great ideas! I really like the puppet and the bag of tricks! I'm definately going to take some ideas from this!


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  3. Nice to read your article! I am looking forward to sharing your adventures and experiences. preschool curriculum



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