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

Print Awareness: Introduction

Preschool Asian boy exploring a book at the library

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.

While some children enter school with print awareness firmly in place, others do not. So let's take a look at how teachers can help students to develop or strengthen print awareness.

Letter of completion

Reading Rockets does not offer CEUs for this self-study course. After completing this module and successfully answering the post-test questions, you'll be able to download a Letter of Completion.

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.

"I'm wondering what to read next." — Matilda, Roald Dahl