Print Awareness is related to understanding the function of a book, and knowing how books “work”. Children need to learn how to open a book, turn the pages, notice the print on the pages, and understand that the squiggles on the page have meaning.
- Let your child choose a book to read. Allow him or her to “write” about the story afterwards with paper and crayons. Even if he or she just scribbles, those scribbles represent real print to your child.
- Often the text of children’s books reflects the meaning of the words. Mo Willems’s Pigeon books are a great example, because the Pigeon is very expressive and the text is “drawn” to match. Point to these illustrated words and use your voice to indicate what is being said, or how it is being said. If the Pigeon shouts “LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!!”, the reader should also shout “LET ME DRIVE THE BUS!!!” This helps your child understand what is happening in the story.
- When reading together, point out the title, author, and illustrator’s names on the cover of the book.
- Show your child how to turn the pages, or have him or her turn the pages as you read.