Understanding & Promoting Early Literacy
Early literacy refers to what children know about reading and writing before they actually learn to read and write. It is the foundation upon which children will be ready to learn to read and write when they are taught. Literacy begins the minute a child is born. The summation of a child’s conversations, activities, and experiences all contribute to the early literacy foundation.
More ideas for engaging conversation and creative play:
• Make connections between the letters’ activities and your child’s world. For example, jumping makes letter J joyful. What makes you joyful? Draw a picture of it.
• Reinforce the unique structure of each letter, such as letter A’s “belt,” letter G’s round back, and letter P’s “potbelly” that sticks out on top.
• Play “I Spy” to find letters and objects beginning with their sound.
• Notice the facial expressions of the letters and talk about feelings. What makes you excited, sad, surprised, or fearful?
• Draw story pictures about the letters and their activities.
• Provide assorted materials to write the letters such as in sand, flour, salt, play-dough, shaving cream, and finger paints.
• Make letters out of pretzel sticks, q-tips, pipe cleaners, toothpicks, yarn, ribbon, and popsicle sticks.
• Decorate drawn and cut-out letters with objects beginning with that letter’s sound. For example, use buttons for letter B, leaves for letter L, and pasta for letter P.
Encourage and grow a literacy rich environment:
• Talk to your child about the daily routines you engage in each day.
• Sing songs and dance.
• Take nature walks and collect rocks, flowers, or other items.
• Go on a treasure hunt in your house or backyard.
• Make up your own stories and rhymes.
• Model and encourage writing such as messages and notes.
• Read aloud for at least fifteen minutes every day.
More titles from Alphabet Anatomy:
• Learn more about the letters’ lives with fun crafts, discussion topics, and kinesthetic movements for each capital letter in our Parent Guide.
• Color the capital letters and practice writing and reading in our coloring/workbook.
• Learn fun rhymes for the lower case letters and master their components in Meet the Lower Case Letters.