Before your pre-reader can learn how to read, he or she needs to know about books. This is called book and print awareness or Concepts of Print. It’s one of the 5 Pre-Reading Skills Kids Need To be Successful Readers.
What Are Concepts Of Print?
A child who has knows the concepts of print will have a basic understanding of how books and print work. Concepts of Print can be broken down into two parts- book awareness and print awareness.
What Is Book Awareness?
Your child has book awareness when he or she knows how to hold a book when they are reading and the parts of a book. As a teacher and a mom, I think that it is important to also teach children how to treat a book. Children who are read to will naturally learn many of these things from watching and automatically pick up on these concepts.
Does Your Child Have Book Awareness?
When checking to see if your child has book awareness, hand him or her a book with the back cover facing up or upside down. Next, you can observe your child to see if he or she will turn the book around or flip it over so that it is facing the correct way for him or her to read. Then, you can ask your child:
- Can you point to the front cover?
- What is the title of the book? Make sure that your child points to the title and doesn’t just say it especially if it is a book that they know.
- Where is the author’s name?
- Where is the illustrator’s name?
- Can you point to the back cover?
- Can you point to the spine of the book? This may be difficult for some young children but it’s a great time to teach him or her about the parts of a book.
What Is Print Awareness?
Your child has print awareness when he or she understands that the print in the book is what we read and it has meaning. It tells a story or gives the reader facts about a topic. A child with print awareness understands that we read from left to right and from top to bottom. He or she understands that we move from one line to the next or “return sweep” as we read too.
He or she can also identify and knows the difference between words, letters, sentences, capital letters, and punctuation. Print awareness can be confusing for many young pre-readers so they may need a lot of practice with these concepts before they understand them completely.
Does Your Child Have Print Awareness?
When checking to see if your child has print awareness, open a book and ask him or her these questions:
- Where is the first word on the page?
- Where is the last word on the page?
- Can you find a capital or uppercase letter?
- Can you find a lowercase letter?
- Where is the first letter of a word?
- Where is the last letter of a word?
- Can you find a sentence?
- How many words are in the sentence?
- Where do I start reading?
- Which way do I go when I read the words?
- When I get to the end of a line, where do I read next?
- Can you point to the words as I read?
- Can you find a period?
- Can you find an exclamation mark?
- Can you find a comma?
- Can you find quotation marks?
- Do the pictures match the text/words?
Teaching your child Book and Print Awareness or Concepts of Print is one of the 5 Pre-Reading Skills Kids Need To be Successful Readers, because it is important to first build the foundation for lifelong learning and reading success.
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