English Language Arts

How to Teach Concepts of Print

How to Teach Concepts of Print.

How to Teach Concepts of Print

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.
  • Read books.
  • 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

The library

Magazines and catalogs that come in the mail

Advertisements that come in the mail

Instruction booklets from new toys, equipment, appliances, etc.

Phone books

Cook books

Food labels

Learn more about supporting your child’s early development in my online course Early Childhood 101.

Or start with this post to learn about 29 things parents do that predict school readiness.

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