Print Awareness includes knowing that print has meaning (we read to get a story / information from the writing), knowing how to handle a book (holding it the right way up and turning the pages from the front to the back), and noticing print all around (writing is not only in a book).
Many of our students focus nearly all of their attention on the pictures. We want them to have a look at the picture to guess what the page will be about, but then they have to know to focus on the words. Some children need an adult to direct them to the purpose of the print, i.e. that the written word has meaning.
Some ways that you can help at home:
Reading a book to / with your child
- Use the words “front” and “back” of the book. If your child hands you a book upside down or backwards, explain that you are turning it to start at the beginning.
- Point to words of the title as you say them. (Matching one spoken word with one written word.)
- Let your child turn the pages of the book.
- Many beginner books have some repeated words on each page, e.g. Look up the road. Look down the road. Here comes a …. Point to these words as you say them. This helps your child see that we read from left to right and from top to bottom of the page. (This may be different to another known language.)
- Point to a word that interests your child, e.g. dinosaur. Show your child that written words have a space on each side. Point out the 1st letter and the last letter to familiarize your child with these terms. (letter, word, first, last)