Six Early Literacy Skills

These are some of the skills your child will gain when you spend time reading aloud with him or her.

1. Print Awareness
Print Awareness This is really just noticing print. Noticing words everywhere, knowing how to handle a book, knowing how to follow words on a page. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Read books to your child.
  • Let them see you turn the pages. Let them try too!
  • Point to signs and words that are around you in everyday life and read them aloud to your child

Talkers

  • Point to the words from time to time as you read, so the child learns that you are reading the text, not the pictures
  • Hold the book upside-down and see if the child knows that it has to be turned
  • Point out signs and read them aloud
  • Use every opportunity to read print aloud

Pre-Readers

  • Let your child turn the pages
  • Hold the book upside-down and see if the child knows that it has to be turned
  • Let your child make his/her own book
  • Point out signs and read them aloud
  • Use every opportunity to read print aloud
2. Print Motivation
Print Motivation A child’s interest in and enjoyment of books. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Let your child see that reading is fun
  • Make book sharing a special time for you and your child
  • Short periods of time are okay
  • Schedule is not as important as the moods of the child and the adult too!
  • Keep books in the toy box or on an accessible shelf for your child to look at whenever they wish

Talkers

  • Make book sharing a special time for you and your child
  • Short periods of time are okay
  • Schedule is not as important as the moods of the child and the adult too!
  • Keep books in the toy box or on an accessible shelf for your child to look at whenever they wish

Pre-Readers

  • Make book sharing a special time for you and your child
  • Short periods of time are okay
  • Schedule is not as important as the moods of the child and the adult too!
  • Keep books in the toy box or on an accessible shelf for your child to look at whenever they wish
3. Vocabulary
Knowing the names of things. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Use many words and a variety of words
  • Explain unfamiliar words
  • Read books which have a different vocabulary from conversation

Talkers

  • Use many words and a variety of words
  • Explain unfamiliar words
  • Read books which have a different vocabulary from conversation

Pre-Readers

  • Use many words and a variety of words
  • Explain unfamiliar words
  • Read books which have a different vocabulary from conversation
4. Narrative Skills
Being able to describe things. Being able to understand and tell stories. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Name things (both real and pictures in books)
  • Add description
  • Listen as your child tries to talk, be patient
  • Tell stories to your child
  • Talk about what is happening or what happened as you move through your day
  • Narrate your life

Talkers

  • Name things (both real and pictures in books)
  • Add description
  • Listen as your child tries to talk, be patient
  • Let your child tell you what is happening or something that happened (two or three things in a row)
  • Read a story several times and let the child tell you what happens and what happens next
  • Let your child retell a story with props, dolls or puppets
  • Let your child draw and tell you what is happening in the picture

Pre-Readers

  • Name things (both real and pictures in books)
    Add description
  • Tell stories to your child. They learn how a story is told. This will help develop reading comprehension later.
  • Listen as your child tries to talk, be patient
  • Let your child tell you what is happening or something that happened (two or three things in a row)
  • Let your child retell a story with props, dolls or puppets
  • Let your child draw and tell you what is happening in the picture
5. Letter Awareness
Learning that letters are different from each other. Learning that each letter has a name and specific sounds that go along with it. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Babies need to understand things through their senses. Use real things to help them understand their world.
  • Point out things that are alike and different
  • Feel and talk about shapes
  • Show some ABC books

Talkers

  • Point out how things are alike and different
  • Feel different shapes and talk about shapes
  • Use ABC books
  • Let your child see his/her name written
  • Play with magnet letters

Pre-Readers

  • Use ABC books
  • Let your child see his/her name written
  • Let him try to write some letters (use thick crayons or pencils)
  • Play with magnet letters
  • Find letters all around
6. Phonological Awareness
The ability to hear and play with the smaller sounds in words. What parents and caregivers can do to develop this skill:

Pre-Talkers

  • Sing songs
  • Repeat rhymes
  • Play rhyming word games, using silly words too

Talkers

  • Sing songs
  • Repeat rhymes
  • Play rhyming word games, using silly words too

Pre-Readers

  • Sing songs
  • Repeat rhymes
  • Read rhyming books
  • Say tongue twisters
  • Play rhyming word games, using silly words too