Early Literacy

One morning after Story Time I was sitting on the floor putting my books back into my bag when a one year old toddled over to me. She picked up a copy of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. She opened the book and cooed over the pictures. I started looking at the book with her and to my amazement she pointed at the letter J and pronounced it. Then she pointed at some other letters and said those. I was ecstatic because she was demonstrating the early literacy skill of letter knowledge.

Children under the age of 5 have fascinating brains. They are constantly making neural connections that will affect lifelong learning. It is crucial during the first five years of brain development that children develop the six early literacy skills. These skills are developed though parents and caregivers reading, talking, singing, and playing with young children.

It is easy to incorporate the six early literacy skills during these activities. These are a few ways you may do it:

  1. Letter Knowledge (See Letters)
    Babies

    Talk about the shapes of things with them.
    Toddlers
    Point out and name letters in books or on signs, labels, etc.
    Preschoolers
    Draw letters with them.
  2. Narrative Skills (Tell Stories)
    Babies

    Share finger plays and nursery rhymes with them.
    Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Ask them to tell you about the book. Encourage them to tell you about things they have done that have a regular sequence.
  3. Print Awareness (Use Books)
    Babies

    Read books with them.
    Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Read books with them. Point out and read words everywhere you see them.
  4. Print Motivation (Love Books)
    Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers

    Make reading a special time, keep books accessible, and show them that you enjoy reading
    Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Talk to them about how you use reading and writing in everyday life.
  5. Vocabulary (New Words)
    Babies, Toddlers, Preschoolers

    Start naming all the objects in a child’s world and read a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction.

  6. Phonological Awareness (Play With Sounds)
    Babies

    Read poems and stories with rhymes or different sounds.
    Toddlers and Preschoolers
    Make up silly words by changing the first sound in a word.
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