Alphabetic Principle

The alphabetic principle is the understanding that there is a systematic and predictable relationship between letters and spoken sounds.

Children learn about the alphabetic principle in a predictable sequence:

  1. letter names
  2. letter shapes
  3. letter sounds

Children learn:

  • letter names by singing “alphabet songs” and reciting rhymes about letters.
  • shapes of letters by using magnetic and wooden letters, using play dough to make letters and using alphabet books.
  • sounds of language through rhyming, alliteration, games that point out the sounds and direct teaching

This sequence of learning helps children get on track for reading and because of this, mastery of the letter-sound relationships is a key activity during kindergarten. Many children leave senior kindergarten knowing most of the sounds of the letters of the alphabet.