Early Childhood Library Visits

How libraries can promote the 6 pre-reading skills through storytime

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Print Motivations – Thinking that books and reading are fun

  • Make storytimes fun by being creative and enthusiastic
  • Vary programs using a variety of activities and story formats
  • Invite guests with special interests or skills
  • Create interactive storytimes where children can take part

Vocabulary – knowing the names of things

  • Talk, talk, talk and listen twice as much
  • Help children know that they and their opinions are valued
  • Ask questions, encourage discussion
  • Introduce new words and concepts , use descriptive language
  • Challenge children with both fiction and non-fiction

Print Awareness – recognizing print and understanding how books work

  • Use big books and point to words as the story is read to show left to right
  • Explain the format of a book – cover, title, author, illustrator, dedications page
  • Provide parents with handouts and the skills to practice at home
  • Label everything and then point out words in the library

Letter Knowledge – understanding that each letter has its own name and sound

  • Supply alphabet letters, games, books and songs
  • Have posters and writing tools so children can visualize letters and begin to make them
  • Encourage children to print their own names on nametags

Narrative Skills – being able to tell stories and describe things

  • Provide puppets, costumes, toys or flannel boards so children can create their own stories or act out stories shared during storytime
  • Encourage children to tell you what they think the story will be about or ask for a review of what happened in the story

Phonological Awareness – being able to recognize and play with smaller sounds that make up words

  • Play with words, rhymes, songs, poetry
  • Read boos that have rhythms and rhyming words
  • Clap syllables in words and songs
  • Emphasize particular letters or sounds in stories or activities

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