Getting Ready to Read


As you turn pages in a book, they are learning how books work. Reading has a direction that goes from top to bottom and left to right. When exploring books with your child you are laying the groundwork for reading.

Tools and Materials

Paper, writing tools, computer

Steps to take

*HINT: while writing with your child as much as possible is important, these activities can also be done on a computer or handheld device at home or on the go!

At Home

If you have 3 minutes

  • As you sit down to read a book to your child, make note of the words by moving your finger along under the word. Tell your child when you are done reading the print on the page and that you "need more words", have your child turn the page to give you more words.

If you have more time

  • Challenge your child by handing them a book upside down. See if your child is aware that the book needs to be turned over to "read? it. It may take your child awhile to recognize the book is upside down.
  • Have your child tell you a story and write down what they say. As you write your child will see you write from left to right, top to bottom.

On the Go

If you have 3 minutes  

  • Create a shopping list at home with your child that can be "read" from top to bottom, left to right. When looking at the store, direct the child to look for the first few letters of the item, for instance, "The next item is macaroni and cheese, look for the letters M-A-C on a box!"
  • Have your child "read" back to you the shopping list you created together. Assign your child a few "favorite items". If you have more time
  • At a restaurant, read the children's menu to the child moving from top to bottom, left to right allowing your child to "read" his/her choice back to you. Don't forget to let your child place their own order!
  • When driving to a favorite destination tell your child "We are going to Wal-Mart, look for the sign that starts W-A-L and tell me when you see it!"

Words to Know

Reading   Left  Right    Symbol  Print  Top  Bottom  Upside down

Possible Observations

Identifies some letters; Looks at books; turns pages of books; holds books right-side-up; names words on familiar signs and containers