Early Literacy Skills

Reading twenty minutes every day is known to help children build future reading success. What interests the child and the quality of the book are just as important as the number of minutes you spend reading with your child every day.

Each review on this site will detail what pre-reading skill is present in the book and activities you can use during your reading time to enhance the experience. So what are the six skills this site focuses on?


So what does it all mean?

Print Awareness is showing kids the parts of the book and how they all work together for our reading enjoyment. Demonstrating how a book is held and how to follow through the story from beginning to end is a skill that we teach when we read to our children. Always take the time to point out who wrote the book and who drew the pictures.

Letter Knowledge isn’t just knowing the alphabet! There are tons of opportunities to explore shapes, numbers, and common objects in the books we read. Of course don’t forget all those alphabet books that will provide children an enjoyable story experience while teaching them their letters.

Narrative Skills aren’t just for storytellers! When children can tell a story they understand what happened better. It helps them develop the critical skill of comprehension they will use throughout their life. Choosing stories that have repetitive phrases or scenes that build on each other are great for helping kids develop reading comprehension. Soon they will be telling their own stories!

Phonological Awareness is a bit of jargon that really means hearing the sounds that make up the words that we read. Rhyming books are excellent choices to build this skill. Singing is another great way to help future readers break apart the sounds and build into words as the begin to read on their own.

Print Motivation is simply the enjoyment of books. Choosing books that are age appropriate and that the children can look through on their own is important. Board books for younger kids with fingers still developing fine motor skills. Being aware of how many words are on the page will help ensure your child sits through the whole story! There are lots of ways to engage children in a book other than reading the words on the page.

Vocabulary helps build a child’s repertoire of words which will aid them as they become independent readers. Books with unique words are a rich opportunity to develop a broader language.

For more information on the six literacy skills visit the Idaho Public libraries page for an excellent guide.