Teaching Tips, Ask the Experts

Lowercase Letters in Pre-K? Founder, Jan Z. Olsen, answers your questions!


Q: Should I teach lowercase letters in Pre-K?
A: Yes—but only if your Pre-K children are ready. Make sure children know all of their capitals first. Capital letters are easy:

  • All start at the top.Jan Olsen
  • All are the same height.
  • All occupy the same vertical space.
  • All are easy to recognize and identify.
  • All are big, bold, and familiar.

For lowercase instruction, begin by teaching lowercase recognition and the capital-lowercase association. Use your wall cards, ABC Touch & Flip Cards, Word Time activities, and My First School Book (pp. 72–75). Teach lowercase writing with a pencil only when children are ready.


Remember to keep the following in mind before you start teaching lowercase: 

  • Lowercase letters start in four different places (a, b, e, f).
  • Lowercase letters are not all the same size:
    • 14 letters are half the size of capitals.
    • 12 are the same size as capitals.
  • Lowercase letters occupy three different vertical positions: small, tall, descending.
  • Lowercase letters are more difficult to recognize because of subtle differences (a, b, d, g, p, q ).



Jan Olsen - OTR's picture
By Jan Olsen - OTR Occupational therapist Jan Z. Olsen is the founder and developer of Learning Without Tears. The programs are the culmination of successes over the past 30 years, plus many new ideas from collaborations with teachers, occupational therapists, and administrators across the country.