Print Referencing

Print Referencing: How To Do It

Print referencing is calling children’s attention to the print in text either verbally or non-verbally. You can help children learn more about print awareness by print referencing as you read aloud. Be sure though, that the children have enough experience with the text you are using. They need to have heard and seen the story before, before you ask questions about the print. Remember, the idea is to help children learn more about print, not to test them about what they know or don’t know.

Here are some points about print referencing and how to do it.

Verbal Cues

  • Make comments about the print such as:
  • This is the letter “L” just like the “L” in your name.
  • That signs says STOP.

Ask questions about the print such as:

  •             Where is the first word on the page?
  •             Can you tell me what this word is?

Ask children to show you things in the print:

  •             Show me where to start reading on this page.
  •             Show me the title of the book.

Non-Verbal Cues

  • Point to the print and make comments as you read together. “That’s the letter ‘A’.”
  • Point to a word in a book illustration and say what it says. “That’s Carlo’s cat.”
  • Point to the print and say where to start. “We need to start here.”
  • Track the print by pointing to it. Follow along with your finger under the text.







Increasing Print Focus of Adult-Child Shared Book Reading Through Observational Learning Ezell H.K., Justice L. M., American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology Vol. 9 Pg 36-47 Feb 2000