Print is the text in books, newspapers, on cans, and anywhere else words are printed. Learning how print works takes exposure to a variety of print, as well as explicit teaching.
What it is
Understanding the concepts of print is crucial to later reading and writing skills. The skills included in this are understanding that print has meaning and is the connection between written and spoken word, and understanding that print is read from left to right and from top to bottom. The first step to teaching these concepts is intentional exposure to print.
How to Teach Concepts of Print
You support learning when you:
Provide a variety of texts. (Such as menus, books, magazines, newspapers, labels, journals, maps, etc. )
Point out environmental print such as signs, logos, billboards, and your child’s artwork.
When reading, point to words, modeling directionality and return sweep. (Running a finger across the line and sweeping back to the beginning of the next.)
Provide opportunities for your child to look at books and other print materials independently.
Provide opportunities for independent emergent writing.
Activities Related to Concepts of Print
Some of my favorite children’s books:
Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten
I Love You, Stinky Face
The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear
Are You My Mother?
Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You?
Caps for Sale
Some of my favorite places to pick up texts for children to look at and explore:
Kids Menus from restaurants
Magazines and catalogs that come in the mail
Advertisements that come in the mail
Instruction booklets from new toys, equipment, appliances, etc.
Learn more about supporting your child’s early development in my online course Early Childhood 101.