Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Learning to read is one of the biggest accomplishments in a child's life, but it doesn't happen overnight. In this reading comprehension blog series, we're going to discover the steps that children take in gaining the ability to read and how parents and guardians can support them on this journey.
The first step toward reading comprehension is print awareness. This is when a child recognizes that written letters and words have meaning and they understand the basics of book reading (e.g. holding a book, reading from left to right, turning the page). This early familiarity with books that they develop at home with you will help prepare them to read on their own.
Strategies to Develop Print Awareness
Create a positive attitude around reading so the child looks forward to it
Demonstrate how to hold and handle books
Point out features of the book such as the title, author's name, long words, and words starting with the same letter
Point at words as you read them or trace your finger along them – this will indicate that the story is not only coming from the pictures
Link parts of the story to the child's life when possible
Keep a variety of materials available – wordless books, picture books, concept books (e.g. colours, opposites), interactive books (e.g. lift-the-flap), comics, children's magazines
Encourage the Child to:
Hold the book and turn the pages or tell you when it's time to turn the page
Name items they see in the pictures
Ask questions about the story
Point to the words as you read them
Answer your questions about the story (e.g. "What do you think will happen next?", "Where is he going?")
Keep an eye out for more blog posts about the path to reading comprehension in children!