North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Language Development and Communication (LDC)

Subdomain: Foundations for Reading

Goal: Children begin to develop knowledge of the alphabet and the alphabetic principle.

Skill Progression: Develop knowledge of the alphabet and the alphabetic principle

Age: 48-54 Months

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Identifies initial letters and sounds of familiar names and some words

Situations for Observation of Skill

Read an alphabet alliterative rhyming book, such as Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier. This type of book allows adults to examine identification of letters, letters sounds, rhymes, and alliteration.

Elicitation Strategy

The adult reads the book to the child (best in a small group center). It can be read in order or with random selection of pages. She first turns the page and asks the child to identify a letter on the page. She then reads the text for that letter and asks, “What words rhyme?” “What words would have the same sounds in them?” See if the child can identify the sound that was taken away by listening to the two key words. Pick a couple of words and ask the child to tell you the syllables, or parts of the word.

Behavior Observed

The child is learning the alphabet and corresponding sounds.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Early childhood educators and parents can help children with many early literacy skills by sharing alphabet books, rhyming books and books with alliteration. These books allow children to explore the sounds associated with specific letters and parts of words. Encourage children to experiment with writing their own name, others’ names and words they want to share. Early childhood educators and parents can help children learn to write one word each day that they want to learn to write. Writing just one word helps children learn letter-sound association, letter sound sequences, and letter spacing.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit