Gaining Print Awareness

Children are helped to gain print awareness when their attention is drawn to the print. This is called “print referencing” and can be done by talking about the print or pointing to print (non-verbally) when reading aloud with children.

Here are some ideas to help children gain print awareness while you read aloud.

  • Intentionally show children that books are read from front to back and page by page. Remember to comment on the cover and the title.
  • Tell the children that the print is different to the pictures.
  • Call attention to the direction of print as you read. Be sure to mention that the direction of print makes a difference because we read backwards doesn’t make sense.
  • Occasionally run your finger under the lines of print as you read.
  • Make sure the children experience different types of texts or genres.
  • To help children understand and gain print awareness about different text styles and genres, describe them as you read aloud.
  • Show children that print is all around us and that it makes our daily life easier and safer.