The University of Iowa

Alphabetics and Print Conventions

Definition of Literacy Component

  • Students can identify letters and their common sounds
  • Students can identify the conventions of print

Overview of Skills

  • Recognize and form letters
  • Connect letters and sounds
  • Know how a book is used
  • Distinguish features of words, sentences, and paragraphs1

English Learner and Bilingual Footnotes

1 These conventions are similar across most alphabetic languages.

Grade 1 Students

Identify the features of sentences and paragraphs (e.g., capitalization, punctuation, spaces) (RF.1.1)

  • Recognize that sentences start with a capital letter and end with a period, question mark, or exclamation point.
  • Track a sentence that is split between two pages.
  • Recognize how paragraphs are separated (e.g., indented first line, blank line in between)

Recognize and form uppercase and lowercase letters (RF.K.1; L.K.1)

  • Identify all uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Accurately form all uppercase and lowercase letters, using appropriate directionality
  • Recognize the difference between a letter and a word in print

Know the organization of print (RF.K.1; RL.K.7)

  • Hold a book right side up
  • Turn pages correctly
  • Demonstrate that reading moves from top to bottom and left to right with return sweep
  • Distinguish pictures from the print and know which is read
  • Recognize that sentences are composed of words separated by spaces