Practical Guide to Teach Print Concepts

Teaching Print Concepts to your Preschooler

print concepts

Preschoolers love to listen to books.

Before preschoolers ever get to school, they should be listening to books read to them.  They enjoy hearing stories and it really helps them develop language critical to early literacy. However, with a little effort, you can add some important early literacy skills.  They do not even have to be reading when they learn them.  They are called “print concepts.”

Once you begin to read, all you have to do is use  “self-talk” as you are reading the books. These are basic things you automatically do when you are reading that little children do not always notice. You have to make what you are doing explicit. They may pick this up just by watching but it is more effective if you use “self-talk.” There are “self-talk” words to use as you are reading. Be sure not to try teaching this all in one setting.

Practice Self-Talk

Just add one self-talk idea at a time and review from time to time.

  • Show them the front and back of the book and how we treat books (carefully!)
  • Tell them what the author does and what the illustrator does as you point to their names.
  • Mention which page you start on and which word you read first.
  • Talk about the direction you read words and what you do when you finish reading the first page.
  • Show them how you do a “return-sweep” with your finger when there is more than one line of text.
  • Occasionally, point to a line of text, word-by-word, and ask the preschooler to repeat the sentence with you.
  • Tell them the difference between a word and a sentence.



print concepts

Check your neighborhood for a Little Free Library or start one!

It’s Your Turn:

  • Read stories to your preschooler
  • Develop language
  • Teach early literacy skills
  • Develop print concepts

Practice Self-Talk

  • Use self-talk about how books work
  • Teach one idea at a time
  • Review ideas from time to time
  • Research for more print activities you can do with your preschooler

For further ideas – check out the following…..

When you are ready go to the following to check print concepts

Best Ways To Check Print Concepts



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