|About ITLC Contact Info ITLC FAQ Workshops Resources Using ITLC Site Map|
Starting from birth children learn about books by listening to stories being read to them. As they grow and are able to handle books, they learn that there is a front and back cover and pages. Children as young as 24 months develop a sense about literacy as they explore books and engage in storybook reading activities. Children learn many skills as they are given opportunities to participate in literacy activities during their preschool years.
Children develop concepts about print as they explore books by themselves or with others. These concepts include the understanding that:
The following practices identified by Project ELIPSS support emergent literacy in the classroom and home.
The National Research Council in their 1998 report, Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children recommend reading aloud to children as a strategy to prevent reading difficulties. This helps extend children’s vocabulary, lengthen their attention span, create pleasurable atmosphere related to language and books, and help children learn about the flow of print. Children benefit from a variety of different types of books including big books, predictable books, and picture books.
Big Books are over-sized picture books with enlarged pictures and print. They can be easily seen by children in a small group. Qualities to look for:
Tips for using big books can be found in Choosing and Using Big Books from Project ELIPSS.
Predictable Books contain repetitive phrases or verses, cumulative patterns, a familiar story line, or language with rhythm and rhyme. These books help children:
Tips for using predictable books can be found in Choosing and Using Predictable Books from Project ELIPSS
Picture books are publications in which the pictures either stand alone or dominate the text, or words and pictures have equal importance. (Young Children and Picture Books, Mary Renck Jalongo, NAEYC, 1988). With these books, children:
Tips for using picture books can be found in Using Picture Books to Inspire Young Writers from Project ELIPSS.
The U.S. Department of Education and several national organizations have devoted resources to promote early reading. These publications are available to view and print from websites or pdf files.
The National Research Council provides a guide for early reading in their publication, Starting Out Right. Recommendations are given for activities, books, and other literacy materials to promote young children’s skills.
Helping Your Child Become a Reader is a publication by U.S. Department of Education containing information and activities for families. This can be downloaded and printed as a pdf file.
Learning to Read/Reading to Learn Campaign: Helping Children with Learning Disabilities to Succeed provides tips for families and teachers on strengthening children’s reading skills.
National Institute for Literacy has two publications, A Child Becomes a Reader: Kindergarten Through Grade 3 and A Child Becomes a Reader: Birth Through Preschool which can be downloaded and printed as pdf files. These publications contain tips and strategies for literacy at home and in the classroom or early intervention program.