Pre school reading: The Pre-K Years: Getting Ready to Read and Write

Опубликовано: August 9, 2023 в 3:24 pm


Категории: Miscellaneous

The Pre-K Years: Getting Ready to Read and Write

Creating literacy-rich environments

There’s no doubt that building skills in a few areas during the preschool years can make a huge difference when a child enters school. Browse through to learn more about helping preschool children learn about language, letters, sounds, and how print works. Finally, learn how to choose and read children’s books that will help you enjoy reading together for years to come.

Learn about each of these key areas

Letters and the alphabetic principle

The best predictor of success in reading is a child’s familiarity with the the alphabet. This includes knowing a letter’s name, shape, and sound. A child who can name the letters and their sounds accurately and quickly have an easier time learning how to read. Let’s watch some activities that help children learn their ABC’s.

The Importance of the Alphabetic Principle

Renowned reading researcher Dr. Louisa Moats explains the need for understanding the alphabetic principle.

The Building Blocks of Reading

In Baltimore, a pre-kindergarten program called Children’s Literacy Initiative helps at-risk children meet the school’s high expectations.

Teaching the Alphabetic Principle

In Houston, the teacher of an advanced kindergarten class connects letters and sounds in a systematic and explicit way.

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud

Sounds in speech

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can learn to have fun with sounds! Figuring out words that rhyme, coming up with words that share a beginning sound, and saying silly words all help build a child’s phonological awareness; that is, the ability to notice, think about, and play with sounds in words. These skills will be used every time your child reads and writes!

Fun with Phonemes

One family in Raleigh, North Carolina, shows how playing word and rhyming games puts their child on the road to reading success.

Babies Tune in to Speech Sounds

At a baby speech lab at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, psychologist Janet Werker studies how babies develop skills that distinguish speech sounds of their native language.

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud

Oral language and vocabulary

Unlike reading, babies and young children are wired to learn how to speak. From birth to 5 years old, children learn to communicate and acquire a sophisticated vocabulary. This foundation of spoken language forms the bedrock that supports their future reading and writing skills. Let’s learn some ways to support children’s budding language skills and explore some activities for the early childhood classroom.

Having fun with words

This brief Parenting Minute video from WNET talks about how parents and caregivers can help build their children’s language skills through storytelling, talking, singing, playing rhyming games, as well as by pointing out and discussing things throughout the day. (Video also available in Spanish, Bengali, and Chinese)

Encouraging Young Storytellers

Two- and three-year-olds benefit from a project based in Washington, D.C., called STORIES, which is built on the premise that when adults respond to a toddler’s efforts to communicate, they increase conversational skills, boost vocabulary, and propel toddlers towards literacy.

Exposing Pre-K Children to Big Words

In this clip from our webinar, Babbling to Books, early literacy expert Dr. Sharon Ramey talks about the importance of exposing very young children to rich language and big words.

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud

Print awareness

Print awareness is understanding that print is organized in a particular way — for example, knowing that print is read from left to right and top to bottom. It is also knowing that print communicates meaning. Watching your child scribble and ask you to “read” it back. Sharing a book together as you point out the title and pictures versus the print. Activities that adults may take for granted, such as finding letters, words, and spaces in books. These are all examples of concepts of print.

Parents can support print awareness by pointing to words as you read and stopping a few times during the story to ask questions, make a comment, or to point to something in the text you want your child to notice. Justice and Ezell (2004) call this strategy print referencing and suggest adults stop and make 3-5 verbal or nonverbal references to the print during read alouds. Understanding how print works puts children on the path to learning to read and write.

Becoming Aware of Print

Mira is two-and-a-half years old. Watch how Mira’s parents help her become aware of print.

Concepts of print and letter recognition assessments

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud

Reading together

Sharing books with your child can be among the most special moments of the day. These moments with books teach your child many reading readiness skills. Our resources in this section describe the why’s and how’s of reading with even the youngest child.

House Calls for Literacy

Watch as an early literacy educator visits a family at home to demonstrate and support interactive readalouds.

Bringing Up Baby

Parents are a child’s first teachers and those early years are key to creating a strong foundation for later reading. The Reach Out and Read program works with pediatricians across the country to help parents and kids start off on the right foot.

Reading as Dialogue

In a Long Island Head Start classroom, children who are at risk for reading failure boost their reading skills using a technique called “dialogic reading.”

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud


Children, even our youngest learners, enjoy putting crayon to paper. What often starts as scribbling ends up being important clues to a child’s understanding that print carries meaning. Four-year olds often enjoy “writing” their name and other special words like Mom, Dad, love, and you. Helping your child develop writing readiness skills includes making the most out of everyday writing and providing lots of opportunity to practice!

First Marks

Writing expert Dr. Jane Hansen describes how powerful it is for very young children to realize that they can communicate through oral language — and by making “marks” on a piece of paper.

Emergent Writing

Let’s watch classroom teachers demonstrate effective writing instruction for young children in this video by the Northeast Florida Educational Consortium.

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Children’s Books to Read Aloud

Developmental milestones

Find out what language accomplishments are typical for most children from birth to age three. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s progress, talk with your child’s doctor, teacher, or a speech and language therapist. For children with any kind of disability or learning problem, the sooner they can get the special help they need, the easier it will be for them to learn.

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If You Have Concerns

High-quality preschool programs

Strong preschool programs are lively places — there’s lots of conversation, active play, interactive read alouds, adults listening to and responding to the kids, all with full attention to each child’s social and emotional needs. A high-quality pre-k curriculum sets goals specific to pre-k and uses learning and developmental standards that are research-based, age-appropriate, and aligned with your state’s K-12 standards. And families are valued — high-quality programs respect and support each family’s home language and at-home teaching efforts.

Reading Maestros

Master teacher Dr. Rebecca Palacios runs a dual-language immersion preschool in Corpus Christi, Texas. While teaching her kids, she also mentors teachers-in-training on how to provide top-notch teaching in a preschool environment.

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30 Non-Traditional Preschool Reading Activities

7. Story Sequencing Cards

Sequencing is a crucial reading skill, but it can be difficult to learn. To prepare your preschooler for reading, use story sequencing cards from their favorite books. this will keep them engaged and show them concepts of first, before, and after. These cards can have words, or only pictures depending on your preschooler’s literacy level. Either way, your child can develop their narrative skills with this fun activity.

Learn more: Lakeshore Learning

8. Sight Word Jumping

If you are looking to get your child moving while reading, then use sight word jumping! All you need is some chalk and a place to write! Sight words prepare each child for reading and this gross motor game will make learning even more fun!

Learn more: Fun Learning for Kids

9. Moveable Alphabet 

The moveable alphabet is similar to magnetic letters, yet they are put on the floor. Students can begin this activity by looking at an object and trying to spell it based on their letter knowledge. After they have mastered object spelling, they can do picture spelling, and then spell words of their choice! This Montessori activity is teacher recommended and can be integrated into almost any activity.

Learn more: The Prepared Nest

10. I Spy 

There are thousands of beginning sounds activity, but your preschoolers will love to learn about them in this special version of I Spy. This fun game gets kids up and moving while practicing their letter sounds, letter names, and other pre-reading skills.

Learn more: Fun Early Learning

11. Story Bags!

Story bags are the ultimate way to improve your preschooler’s narrative skills! These child-led stories give your child opportunities to create their own story based on their own imagination from what is in the bin! Perfect for circle time or an aftercare activity, your preschoolers will never stop learning!

Learn more: Teaching English

12. Match the Rhymes!

If your preschooler hasn’t started to read yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t teach about rhymes and phonemic awareness. Pull together some objects that rhyme and put them in a box. Have them practice their vocabulary and literacy skills by finding the objects that rhyme!

Learn more: Youtube

13. Bingo!

Bingo is the perfect activity to increase student vocabulary and reading skills. Students have to read each card and find the picture on their bingo cards. Once you start, they won’t want to stop!

Learn more: Amazon

14. Alphabet Box

If you are looking to practice your child’s beginning sound skills, then prepare an alphabet box! Place a letter in each box and have the children sort small objects based on their beginning or ending sounds!

Learn more: How we Montessori

15. Picture Word Matching

Picture word matching is a Montessori recommended activity that helps preschoolers match CVC words while expanding their vocabulary. The pink set is the first level, but advanced readers can move on to the blue level.

Learn more: Montessori Equipment

16. Letter Treasure Hunt

If you are looking for a hands-on learning activity, then try the letter treasure hunt! This sensory activity will prepare your child, for reading as they have to dig and identify letters as they find them!

Learn more: Mama of Joy Sensory Play

17. Create a Story

If you are looking to practice your preschooler’s writing and reading skills, have them create their own story with a dice! Not only will they have to use their imagination, but they will be able to narrate and practice story-telling!

Learn more: 123 Home School 4 Me

18. Write the Room!

If you are looking to get your preschoolers moving around the room while practicing the alphabet, then try this write the room! Students will practice their writing and letter recognition skills and have fun at the same time!

Learn more: Teachers pay teachers

19. Nursery Rhymes and Fingerplays

Preschoolers love story time, but some may find it hard to focus. Help them stay engaged by using nursery rhymes, finger plays, or puppets as you read! These are perfect for students from the baby to the preschool years.

Learn more: Empowered Parents

20. Magical Alphabet Letters

Magical Alphabet Letters is an excellent alphabet activity that can help your preschoolers with their letter recognition. Kids won’t believe their eyes as the letters appear on each blank paper!

Learn more: No Time for Flash Cards

21. Vowel Tree!

If your preschooler has mastered the letter sounds and names, they may be ready for the vowel tree! This activity is recommended by teachers for teaching short and long vowel sounds. Gather a bunch of letters and place two consonants on each side of the letter in the tree. Then read to see how we distinguish each vowel.

Learn more: Facebook

22. Letter Slap

Letter slap is an awesome activity for preschoolers to learn their letter sounds and names. Call out a letter and have your child slap the letter! This letter activity will have your preschoolers super excited about learning!

Learn more: The Playful Scholar

23. Sight Word Chalk

Sight word chalk is an excellent activity for practicing word and letter recognition. Students can either write the words, or match their sight word cards to each bubble!

Learn more: The Educators Spin on it

24. Alphabet Chalk

If you are looking for a pre-reading activity that gets your preschooler outside, then do alphabet chalk! There are so many variations of this game, but you can have them fill in the missing letters, hop to each one and say them, and more! This is the perfect child activity to practice letter recognition, letter names, and writing skills.

Learn more: Buggy and Buddy

25. Roll and Read

If you are looking for a fun independent reading activity, try roll and read! All you need is a dice and a roll and read the printout. Preschoolers can practice various reading skills like identifying word families, long and short vowels, and consonant digraphs through this hands-on activity.

Learn more: Etsy

26. Letter Matching Push

Identifying uppercase letters and lowercase letters can be a difficult task for young readers. Create your own letter matching game to develop these abilities as well as their fine motor skills. You can use cereal boxes, cardboard, or anything else that you can punch a hole into.

Learn more: School Time Snippets

27. Word Family Sliders

If you child is ready to start reading, then prepare some word family hats! This reading skill is essential for preschoolers and easy to make! Slide down a consonant, say the sound and then the sound of the word family and you’re good to go!

Learn more: Make take teach

28. Charades 

Charades is one of the best activities for preschoolers learning to read. Not only will they be able to identify different actions and practice their body awareness, but they will be able to see how each word is spelled as they look at the picture while building their vocabulary.

Learn more: Twinkl

29. Car Letter Blending

If your child demonstrates knowledge of letter sounds, then they should be ready to learn about blending and forming words. Preschool teachers recommend this fun car letter blending activity to show preschooler’s that each letter has its own sound in a word!

Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers

30. Decodable Books 

Decodable books are perfect for children that are learning to read. Students can identify word families, and then apply their knowledge as they read the story! This type of story gives children the opportunity to take charge of their learning.

Learn more: Reading A-Z

Preschool reading – a series of books published by AST