Build Letter-Sound Awareness with Alphabet Books

In order to read on their own, children need to learn that the letters on the page represent specific sounds. For example, children need to learn that the sound /b/ goes with the letter B. This is called “letter-sound knowledge.”

Letter-sound knowledge is not easy for children to learn, especially in English, which has 44 sounds but only 26 letters in the alphabet. This means that some letters stand for several different sounds. For example, the letter C can make three different sounds: the sound /s/ as in “ceiling,” the sound /k/ as in “cake” and combined with the letter H, it makes the sound /ch/ as in “chin”. No wonder it can take preschool-aged children two to three years to be able to accurately match all the letters and sounds!

The Four S’s – which stand for Show, Say, Sound and Stress – is a strategy you can use to help expose your preschooler to letter-sound knowledge while reading books and at other times throughout the day.

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