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Notes from Storytime

Letter Play

My Teacher Can Teach-- Anyone!Alphabet books are one way to help children become aware of letters. Researchers have noted one of the six areas of early literacy as letter knowledge, which means recognizing letters, being able to name the letters, and knowing that each letter has its own sound. The book, My Teacher Can Teach–Anyone! by W. Nikola-Lisa, shows people doing jobs from A to Z. After each page, talk with your child about the letter name and sound. Remember that you do not need to read alphabet books from cover to cover; try beginning with your child’s favorite letters instead, like the first letter in his or her name.

–Tip by Erin E., Youth Programming Coordinator

By eemerick on June 16, 2014 Categories: Letter Knowledge

The Human Alphabet


The Human AlphabetAt home, have silly fun trying to spell short words using only your body! This activity introduces the concept that words are made up of letters, and we use only 26 letters to form many different words. Take a look at the picture book The Human Alphabet by Pilobolus and see the entire alphabet created only by human bodies!

–Tip by Amy S., Youth Library Assistant


By eemerick on April 14, 2014 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Hidden Alphabet

The Hidden AlphabetReinforcing the early literacy skill of letter knowledge with your child can be as simple as pointing out letters as you read, drive, or shop. In the book Hidden Alphabet by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, you’ll discover letters in BIG and interesting ways that connect each letter with its sound. See the balloons in the letter B? With fun lift-the-flap pages and all sorts of colors, you’ll want to read it more than once!

–Tip by Amy S., Youth Programming Assistant

By eemerick on December 9, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

C is for Crocodile

Clarabella's TeethHave your child make a letter “c” with his or her arms. After reading Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut, go on a letter scavenger hunt. How many times can you find the letter “c” in this book?

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head


By eemerick on September 30, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Monkey and Me

Monkey and MeShowing children letters based on subjects they like follows their interest. They are more likely to remember the letter that way than if you drill them. The book Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett has a monkey on the cover, an animal that is usually popular among children. Point out the letter “M” and say its name and sound.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant


By eemerick on August 5, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Baby Bear’s Books

Baby Bear's BooksBy focusing on their interests, children will remember alphabet letters more than if you drill them. In the book Baby Bear’s Books by Jane Yolen, Baby Bear is interested in books and being read to by his parents. What is your child interested in? Read a book about it!

–Tip by Laura B., Youth Technology Librarian

By eemerick on June 10, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Z is for Moose

Z is for MooseAlphabet books are a great way to help your child with letter knowledge. Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham is a particularly fun book! Zebra is directing all of the objects as they appear in this alphabet book, but he forgets about Moose. Moose decides this is not going to work and tries to appear on as many pages as possible. As you read this story to your child, talk about all the letters you see and the sounds they make.

–Tip by Barb M., Youth Programming and Outreach Assistant


By eemerick on March 18, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Shapes, Shapes, Shapes

Spot Looks at ShapesBefore children learn actual letters, they are aware of shapes. Learning differences in shapes will help them later when they are learning the shapes of letters. In books like Spot Looks at Shapes by Eric Hill and Shapes, Shapes, Shapes by Tana Hoban, children can talk about how some shapes are alike or different. Have them trace them and find the shapes in things and letters all around!

–Tip by Carol C., Youth Programming Assistant

By eemerick on January 21, 2013 Categories: Letter Knowledge

Pick a Letter, Any Letter

26 Letters and 99 CentsReading any book can teach your child letter knowledge. Before you read a book together, ask your child to pick a letter. Draw the letter together and practice making its sound. Then as you read the story, have your child find words that contain that letter.

–Tip by Mary S., Youth Services Department Head

By eemerick on November 12, 2012 Categories: Letter Knowledge

My Name Is Elizabeth!

My Name Is Elizabeth!Children actually start learning about letters before they even know the alphabet. Letter knowledge means knowing that letters are different from each other and that the same letter can look different ways (such as upper and lower case), as well as knowing that letters relate to sounds. Focus on the first letter in your child’s name—talk about its shape, how it looks in upper and lower case, and what sound(s) it makes. And remember to have fun!

–Tip by Brad J., Youth Technology Librarian

By eemerick on August 20, 2012 Categories: Letter Knowledge