Long before children start school, they are gaining the skills and understanding they will need for success in school and in life—including the skills that lead to literacy.
Literacy isn’t just reading—it includes writing, speaking, listening, and all the ways we use language to interact and communicate.
Teachers and researchers know that learning literacy skills are easier for some children than for others. But, in general, those who arrive at school with the following experiences and understandings are at an advantage:
Ability to recognize various letters, signs, pictures, and sounds.
Exposure to spoken and written words and numbers.
Experience participating in conversations, listening to stories, asking and answering questions, singing songs, and using language to communicate.
Exposure to books, magazines, newspapers, signs, games, and other forms of print.
Experience drawing, painting, and scribbling with pencils, pens, crayons, or paints.
© 2008 International Reading Association.
Children’s play is their work, and they learn by doing and experimenting. Fascinated by the world around them, they love to ask questions and talk about everything. You increase their curiosity by showing interest in what they are saying.
Pre-schoolers are learning about letters and sounds, pictures, and print. When you read to children, you teach them how letters and words work, how to hold a book, turn pages, listen and gain meaning from the written word. At this age, children also develop a basic understanding of numbers, can match and label shapes, identify colors and understand spatial concepts.
© Colorado State Department of Education.