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Reading 101 is a collaboration with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association.

Print Awareness: Introduction

Print Awareness

Children who have an awareness of print understand that the squiggly lines on a page represent spoken language. They understand that when adults read a book, what they say is linked to the words on the page, rather than to the pictures.

Children with print awareness understand that print has different functions depending on the context in which it appears — for example, menus list food choices, a book tells a story, a sign can announce a favorite restaurant or warn of danger.

Print awareness is understanding that print is organized in a particular way — for example, knowing that print is read from left to right and top to bottom. It is knowing that words consist of letters and that spaces appear between words. Print awareness is a child’s earliest introduction to literacy.

In a perfect world, all students would begin school with print awareness firmly in place. But not all children entering kindergarten have this skill. So let's take a look at how teachers can help students to develop or strengthen print awareness.

Video: Becoming Aware of Print

In San Jose, California, 32-month-old Mira gets a head start on reading from her parents.

Reading 101 is a collaboration with the Center for Effective Reading Instruction and The International Dyslexia Association.

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." — Austin Phelps