Six Skills



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PLAY-GROW-READ!    Six Skills Your Child Needs


There are six skills that every child needs in order to become a successful reader: Print Motivation, Print Awareness, Phonological Awareness, Vocabulary Skills, Narrative Skills, and Letter Knowledge. To learn more select a link below:

Print Motivation

Print Awareness

Phonological Awareness

Vocabulary

Narrative Skills

Letter Knowledge

 

Print Motivation

Print motivation is all about getting your child excited by books and reading. Right from birth, children can have positive connections with books, when stories are read aloud to them. Young children will feel a happy bond, and will see that sharing books is fun. The best way to motivate your child is by sharing books every day.

Why is this important?

Children who enjoy being read to and playing with books will want more book sharing time, which creates happy experiences and a positive attitude about reading. Research shows that children who have three books read aloud to them each week, do better in school than children who do not have positive experiences with sharing books.

What can you do?

  • Share books that you enjoy with your child, and make reading time special.
  • Encourage your child to pretend to read by turning pages and talking about the story.
  • Visit the library and participate in the programs together.
  • Use a puppet or stuffed animal to help read or tell a story.
  • Read aloud, using fun voices, loud and soft sounds, and actions.
  • Share books with flaps to lift or interesting textures to touch.
  • Teach your child simple jokes and riddles.

Which books are best?

Choose books that are fun and entertaining to you and your child. The more you share books with your child, the more you will know what interests him or her.

Books to share:

Great Books for Print Motivation

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Print Awareness

Children learn print awareness through opportunities that show how print is everywhere around them and that words have meaning and purpose. Knowing how to handle a book, and how to follow words on a page are important parts of this skill.

Why is this important?

Any experiences children have with words in their environment, and with sharing books add to the knowledge that will help them learn to read. Research shows that babies who play with books find it easier to read later on.

What can you do?

  • When sharing books, point to the words on the page.
  • Show your child that a book has a cover, with a title and author’s name.
  • Look at the book cover and ask, "What do you think this book will be about?"
  • Let your child hold the book and turn the pages.
  • Point out and read words everywhere in the home, and out in the community — such as on grocery lists, signs, labels, and menus.
  • Play fun, simple board games like "Candy Land" or "Chutes and Ladders."

Which books are best?

Young children like books with pictures of familiar objects, labeled with words. Look for books with great pictures that help tell the story.

Books to share:

Great Books for Print Awareness

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Phonological Awareness

Phonological awareness is when children connect the sounds of words through rhymes, stories, songs, and play. Much of this skill has to do with listening to sounds and patterns of language throughout the day.

Why is this important?

Understanding that words are made up of smaller sounds is key to successfully learning to read. Learning about the sounds of words, and seeing words in print will help children become ready to read.

What can you do?

  • Sing songs and lullabies, and play music for your child.
  • Practice reading and reciting favorite nursery rhymes.
  • Clap the rhythm of word sounds, like two claps for "pump-kin."
  • Play "Simon Says" to encourage active listening.
  • Play books on tape while driving in the car.
  • Practice making animal sounds with your child like, the cat says "Meow," the dog says "Ruff, ruff."

Which books are best?

Rhyming books and interactive stories really help children get involved and have fun with reading, while learning about sounds in words.

Books to share:

Great Books for Phonologial Awareness

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Vocabulary

Vocabulary skills help young children learn how to name things, and to learn new words.

Why is this important?

Knowing words is directly related to learning how to read. Children learn to talk by listening to others talk. The more words they hear, the more words they will know. Research shows that more brain connections for learning how to read are made when you talk to, sing to, and read to your children.

What can you do?

  • Talk to your child about everything you are doing during the day, such as when you are preparing a meal.
  • Listen when your children talk to you, and have patience with them as they express themselves.
  • Read aloud to your child as often as you can. Books are filled with new words.
  • Read the same books again and again; repetition helps learning.
  • Use magnetic letters to form words.
  • Rhyme words for fun: "Look at the book," or "The car is far."
  • When at the grocery store, point out the words on products and say the names, like "Look at the red apples," or "See the different kinds of bread?"
  • Sing songs and recite nursery rhymes throughout the day.

Which books are best?

Books with interesting words and pictures and stories that have repeated patterns and rhymes are fun ways to learn new words.

Books to share:

Great Books for Vocabulary

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Narrative Skills

Narrative skills inspire a child’s understanding of how stories work. This includes the experiences of telling and retelling stories, and describing ideas and events in order.

Why is this important?

Research shows that the best reading experiences occur when children become involved in the story. When books are read aloud to them, they will see that there is a beginning, middle, and end to the story. This creates an understanding of what reading is, along with an appreciation for stories and learning.

What can you do?

  • Share a variety of books with your child, and talk about the stories — even with your baby.
  • Make reading aloud interactive by involving your child in the story — asking, "What do you think is going to happen next?" or, "What is the boy doing?"
  • Recite nursery rhymes often. These are little stories with a beginning, a middle, and an ending.
  • Ask your child to tell you about something that happened during the day.
  • Use a puppet or stuffed toy to help tell a story.
  • Inspire imaginative play with a dress-up box.

Which books are best?

Choose books with a story sequence that is easy to follow, yet interesting. A story can be as simple as a nursery rhyme, but look for books that will get you and your child talking together.

Books to share:

Great Books for Narrative Skills

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Letter Knowledge

Letter knowledge is discovering that letters are different from each other, knowing the names and sounds of letters, and recognizing that letters are everywhere.

Why is this important?

Research shows that before children learn to read, they need to easily recognize letters, and be able to name the letters of the alphabet. The more experiences young children have with looking at, talking about, and drawing letters, the better prepared they will be to learn to read.

What can you do?

  • Share a variety of alphabet books.
  • Talk about the letters in your child’s name.
  • Point out and name letters in places other than books — such as on food labels.
  • Do sorting activities with objects by color, shape, or size.
  • Use magnetic letters, crayons, markers, chalkboards, or rolled-out play dough to spell out your child’s name.
  • Draw letters and pictures in the sand, and use sidewalk chalk.
  • Play with ABC puzzles that show pictures with matching letters.

Which books are best?

Choose from a wide variety of picture books featuring the alphabet with creative designs and eye-catching illustrations. Point out the letters and the words, and talk about their sounds and shapes. Look at the pictures and talk about how they match with the letters.

Books to share:

Great Books for Letter Knowledge

 

Books Are for Babies Too!



For more information on early literacy or to schedule a workshop, call the Kent District Library Outreach Specialist at 784-2016 x2221, or email program_outreach@kdl.org.