When the going gets tough, the tough get a librarian.
Jenna Boller in Best Foot Forward.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Six Early Literacy Skills and Storytime

Young children need a variety of skills to become successful readers. A panel of reading experts has determined that six specific early literacy skills become the building blocks for later reading and writing. Research indicates that children who enter school with more of these skills are better able to benefit from the reading instruction they receive when they arrive at school.

Vocabulary, knowing the names of things, is an extremely important skill for children to have when they are learning to read. Most children enter school knowing between 3,000 and 5,000 words.
At storytimes we help develop children’s vocabulary by reading a variety of books with them, both fiction and nonfiction. One way that children learn new words is by hearing them in a story or by seeing a picture that relates to a new word.

Print Motivation
Print Motivation is a child's interest in and enjoyment of books. A child with print motivation enjoys being read to, plays with books, pretends to write, asks to be read to and likes trips to the library.
At storytime we have a lot of fun with books. We share our love for them and demonstrate how much fun a book can be.

Print Awareness
Print Awareness includes learning that writing in English follows basic rules such as flowing from top-to-bottom and left-to-right, and that the print on the page is what is being read by someone who knows how to read. An example of print awareness is a child's ability to point to the words on the page of a book.
At storytimes the children see how a book is read. Often we have the children repeat a phrase with us while we show them the print on the page.

Narrative Skills
Narrative Skills, being able to understand and tell stories, and describe things, are important for children being able to understand what they are learning to read. An example of a narrative skill is a child's ability to tell what happens at a birthday party or on a trip to the zoo.
Talking about what is happening in a story is one way we encourage narrative skills. We often ask the children what will happen next and come up with some interesting stories

Letter Knowledge
Letter Knowledge includes learning that letters have names and are different from each other, and that specific sounds go with specific letters. An example of letter knowledge is a child's ability to tell the name of the letter B and what sound it makes.
Letter knowledge can be developed by using a variety of fun reading or writing activities, like pointing out and naming letters in alphabet books, picture books, or on signs and labels. Playing with magnetic or foam letters is another way to become familiar with letters.

Phonological Awareness
Phonological Awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate the smaller sounds in words. Phonological awareness includes the ability to hear and create rhymes, to say words with sounds or chunks left out and the ability to put two word chunks together to make a word. Most children who have difficulty in reading have trouble in phonological awareness. Rhyming books and those with silly sounds are great at storytime.

Come to storytime with your child, grandchild or just a favorite young friend and see how Miss Cindy helps the children learn the basic prereading skills. Storytime is on Wednesday at 10:30.

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