As children become aware of printed material they begin to imitate print, usually in a scribble writing form. As children become more familiar with the written symbols (the alphabet letters), they begin to form letters in a recognizable fashion. Often they will first learn to recognize, identify and write the letters in their names and their family members' names. Often they will start to recognize certain letters in environmental print such as STOP signs, McDonald signs, etc.
In conjunction with phonemic awareness, children learn that these written symbols have meaning. They hear adults and older children in their lives reading. They learn that these symbols represent certain sounds.
As students learn to recognize, identify and write both the upper case and lower case forms of letters, they learn about the sound/symbol relationship and how to begin to put these letters together to make words.
Research has demonstrated that successful readers master alphabet knowledge, print/book awareness and phonemic awareness skills in pre-school, kindergarten and first grade.
It is important that children be exposed to the alphabet letters, both upper and lower case, in their home environment. Children should be provided with many opportunities to recognize, identify and write the letters.