Introduction to Concept of Word
An important literacy skill for your rising kindergartener is concept of word. The end goal is for children to understand the difference between a letter versus a word versus a sentence. Students should also understand the directionality of text,. This is the direction in which we read text – how we read from left to right and from top to bottom, which is also referred to as concept of print. Usually, children in preschool do not understand the way that print is organized, so this skill is not mastered until your child becomes a beginning reader.
Have you ever heard the term environmental print? Well, environmental print is “print we see everyday in the world around us.” This includes logos and signs. The red and white bullseye, which we all know well, represents the store Target, and a red octagon with white letters represents a stop sign. Environmental print is the first type of print a child will recognize. Is your child starting to recognize logos and signs? This is a big first step in the reading process because they are making the connection that letters, numbers, colors, and shapes can represent something else.
Try at Home
A great summer activity is to cut out logos that your child recognizes from newspapers, magazines, or the packaging of items you have in your home. From there you and your little one can make a book with these logos that your child is already familiar with. In addition to focusing on environmental print, this is a great opportunity for your child to practice cutting and pasting, which are two important fine motor kindergarten skills.
I used to make environmental books with my daughter when she was younger. We included her name on the front, which is another important pre-reading focus, and on each page, we cut out different logos that included: Lego, Barbie, Goldfish and Crayola These are just some examples.
When she started “reading” her environmental print book or environmental print elsewhere, I always encouraged her by saying, “You’re reading! You should be so proud of yourself!” This got her so excited about recognizing all the print around her. It also boosted her self esteem, and got her motivated to make more environmental print books.
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