Reading with Children: Pre-Readers

The process of reading with children varies greatly depending on their age and where they are in the process of learning to read. Here, we’ve listed some information about what to expect and strategies for reading with pre-readers.

The Child:

  • Knows how books work, knows that there’s a story inside
  • Knows some numbers, letters of the alphabet and letter sounds
  • Pretends to read and can retell basic storylines
  • Is not ready to read any text aloud

The Books:

  • Contain very few words, are sometimes wordless
  • Often introduce or identify letters, numbers, shapes, or colors with very limited text
  • Have illustrations closely related to text – are very predictable

Reading Strategies:

  • Encourage pretend reading. This “reading” provides practice with retelling and practice navigating books correctly.
  • Talk about the story. When the child is finished with a book, be sure to talk about what happened in the story and perhaps re-read favorite parts.
  • Talk about any interesting words or new concepts.
  • Give the child time to ask questions as you progress through the book.
  • Give the child lots of chances to hear the story again and again.