Literacy Resources

Talk and Listen  >>

Helping Your Child Become a Reader  >>

Chatting with Children  >>

Language and Literacy DevelopmentAccording to the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (2011), children between the ages of four and five, the typical Pre-K child learn, and develop language and literacy through interactions with adults and other children. Children learn best with hands-on engaging materials accompanied with instructional experiences. Pre-K lays the foundation for the development of reading in subsequent school years. Children should participate in activities that will foster the ability to listen for understanding and to distinguish sounds in language. Through the use of whole and small group time children develop an awareness of print and books through activities, modeling, and interactions. Writing begins through the use of pictures to tell a story, then progresses to symbols, letter-like forms, and finally letters. Studies have shown that later reading success is directly related to the interactions of children with books by listening to read alouds and participating in discussions about the book and subsequent activities related to the book.

What is the most effective means of using a read aloud to promote reading readiness skills?

According to McGee and Schickedanz (2007) the most effective types of read alouds are those where children are participating in the story by asking and answering questions and making predictions. To view a table listing the steps to repeated book read alouds click here.

References >>

Content Standards. (2011). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning:

McGee, Lea M., & Schickedanz, Judith A. (2007). Repeated interactive read-alouds in preschool and kindergarten. The Reading Teacher. 60(8), 742-751.

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Talk and Listen

What Can You Do as a Parent? 

When you do something together eating, shopping, taking a walk, visiting a relative—talk about it.  Take your child to new places and introduce him to new experiences. Talk about the new, interesting, and unusual things that you see and do.

What you can do as a parent!
Teach your child the meaning of new words. Say the names of things around the house. Label and talk about things in pictures. Explain, in simple ways, how to use familiar objects and how they work.
Help your child to follow directions. Use short, clear sentences to tell him what you want him to do.
Play with words. Have fun with tongue twisters such as "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" and nonsense rhymes such as "Hey Diddle, Diddle,"  as well as more modern nonsense rhymes.

According to The National Institute for Literacy (2006) reading can begin at home way before a child begins school. Children can begin their journey into reading from the day they are born. Children begin to learn spoken language by hearing family members talking, laughing and singing. When adults read stories to children they begin to make sense of written language. Also, by modeling reading in front of children through the use of newspapers, magazines and books reinforces written language.

“These early experiences with spoken and written language set the stage for children to become successful readers and writers,” (p 1).

Download >> A Child Becomes a Reader

References >>

A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas from Research for Parents Birth through Preschool (2006). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from National Institute for Literacy:

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Helping Your Child Become a Reader

According to the U.S. Department of Education (2005) you could say that your baby starts on the road to becoming a reader on the day she/he is born and first hears the sounds of your voice. Every time you speak to her, sing to her, and respond to the sounds that she makes, you strengthen your child’s understanding of language. With you to guide her, she is well on her way to becoming a reader. To understand the connection between a child’s early experiences with spoken language and learning to read, you might think of language as a four-legged stool. The four legs are talking, listening, reading, and writing. All four legs are important; each leg helps to support and balance the others.
    Helping your child become a reader.
  • Talk with and listen to your child.
  • Read together with her.
  • Help your child learn about books and print.
  • Encourage your child’s early writing efforts.
  • Help your child learn to read if his first language is not English.
  • Prepare your child for success in school.

Reading books with their children is one of the most important 
things that parents can do to help their children become readers.

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Chatting with Children

  • Whatever you do together, talk about it with your child. When you eat meals, take walks, go to the store, or visit the library, talk with him. These and other activities give the two of you a chance to ask and answer questions such as, “Which flowers are red? Which are yellow?” “What else do you see in the garden?” Challenge your child by asking questions that need more than a “yes” or “no” answer. 
  • Listen to your child’s questions patiently and answer them just as patiently. If you don’t know the answer to a question, have him join you as you look for the answer in a book. He will then see how important books are as sources of information. 
  • Have your child tell you a story. Then ask him questions, explaining that you need to understand better. 
  • When he is able, ask him to help you in the kitchen. He might set the table or decorate a batch of cookies. A first-grader may enjoy helping you follow a simple recipe. Talk about what you’re fixing, what you’re cooking with, what he likes to eat, and more. 
  • Ask yourself if the TV is on too much. If so, turn it off and talk! (Information was used from Helping Your Child Become a Reader.)
Talking and having conversations with your child play 
a necessary part in helping his language skills grow.

Download>> The complete article, Helping Your Child Become a Reader

Activities taken from Helping Your Child Become a Reader >>

What follows are ideas for language-building activities that you can do with your child to help her build the skills she needs to become a reader. Most public libraries offer free use of books, magazines, videos, computers, and other services. Other things that you might need for these activities are not expensive.

For each set of activities, we give an age span that suggests when children should try them. From one activity to the next, we continue to talk about children at different stages: babies (birth to 1 year), toddlers (1 to 3 years), preschoolers (ages 3 and 4), and kindergartner/early first-graders (ages 5 and 6). Remember that children don’t always learn the same things at the same rate. And they don’t suddenly stop doing one thing and start doing another just because they are a little older. So use the ages as guides as your child learns and grows. Don’t consider them to be hard and fast rules.

Activity 1: As Simple as ABC - For children ages 2 to 6

Sharing the alphabet with your child helps her begin to recognize the shapes of letters and to link them with the sounds of spoken language. She will soon learn the difference between individual letters—what they look like and what they sound like.

What You Need 

  • Alphabet Books 
  • ABC magnets 
  • Paper, pencils, crayons, markers 
  • Glue and safety scissors 

What to Do

  • The first activities in the list below work well with younger children. As your child grows older, the later activities let her do more. But keep doing the first ones as long as she enjoys them. 
  • With your toddler sitting with you, print the letters of her name on paper and say each letter as you write it. Make a name sign for her room or other special place. Have her decorate the sign by pasting stickers or drawing on it. 
  • Teach your child “The Alphabet Song” and play games with her using the alphabet. Some alphabet books have songs and games that you can learn together. 
  • Look for educational videos, DVDs, CDs, and TV shows such as “Between the Lions” that feature letter-learning activities for young children. Watch such programs with your child and join in with her on the rhymes and songs. 
  • Place alphabet magnets on your refrigerator or on another smooth, safe metal surface. Ask your child to name the letters she plays with and to say the words she may be trying to spell. 
  • Wherever you are with your child, point out individual letters in signs, billboards, posters, food containers, books, and magazines. When she is 3 to 4 years old, ask her to begin finding and naming some letters. 
  • When your child is between ages 3 and 4, encourage her to spell and write her name. For many children, their names are the first words they write. At first, your child may use just one or two letters for her name (for example, Emily, nicknamed Em, uses the letter M). 
  • Make an alphabet book with your kindergartner. Have her draw pictures (you can help). You can also cut pictures from magazines or use photos. Paste each picture in the book. Help your child to write next to the picture the letter that stands for the object or person in the picture (for example, B for bird, M for milk, and so on). (1)
    For More Activities: Helping Your ChildLearn to Read

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    Amazon Book List >>

    Carle, Eric.The Very Busy Spider.  Farm animals try to keep a spider from spinning her web, but she doesn't give up and she makes a beautiful and useful creation. Pictures may be felt as well as seen, making this a great book for visually impaired children.

    Hill, Eric. Where's Spot? Putnam, 1980. In an interactive lift-the-flap book, children help Spot’s mother, Sally, search the house to find him. This book has been translated into a number of languages, including a sign language version.

    Kunhardt, Dorothy.  Pat the Bunny.  Golden Books, 1990. Paul and Judy smell the flowers, feel Daddy’s scratchy face, look in the mirror, play peek-a-boo, and, of course, pat the bunny.

    Kitamura, Satoshi.  From Acorn to Zoo: and Everything in Between in Alphabetical Order Sunburst, 1995. Each page shows an assortment of things that begin with the same letter—all clearly labeled. For each page there is a question (and a clue) that can be answered only by looking carefully at the picture.

    Rankin, Laura. The Handmade Alphabet Picture Puffins, 1996. This book presents the hand-shape for each letter of the manual alphabet (American Sign Language) accompanied by an object whose name begins with that letter.

    Martin, Bill, Jr.  Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?  Holt, 1996. What children see is a surprising cast of animals!

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    Places to Learn and Play >>

    Credits >>

    Clip art images compliments of...

    References >>

    A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas from Research for Parents Birth through Preschool (2006). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from National Institute for Literacy:

    Helping Your Child Become a Reader (2005). Retrieved April 27, 2012, from U.S. Department of Education Office of Communications and Outreach:

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