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About Reading

Goals for Kindergarten: Experimental Reading and Writing

Children go through phases of reading development from preschool through third grade — from exploration of books to independent reading. In kindergarten, children develop basic concepts of print and begin to engage in and experiment with reading and writing. Find out what parents and teachers can do to support kindergarten literacy skills.

In kindergarten, children develop basic concepts of print and begin to engage in and experiment with reading and writing.

Children can:

  • Enjoy being read to and themselves retell simple narrative stories or informational texts
  • Use descriptive language to explain and explore
  • Recognize letters and letter-sound matches
  • Show familiarity with rhyming and beginning sounds
  • Understand left-to-right and top-to-bottom orientation and familiar concepts of print
  • Match spoken words with written ones
  • Begin to write letters of the alphabet and some high-frequency words

What teachers do:

  • Encourage children to talk about reading and writing experiences
  • Provide many opportunities for children to explore and identify sound-symbol relationships in meaningful contexts
  • Help children to segment spoken words into individual sounds and blend the sounds into whole words (for example, by slowly writing a word and saying its sound)
  • Frequently read interesting and conceptually rich stories to children
  • Provide daily opportunities for children to write
  • Help children build a sight vocabulary
  • Create a literacy-rich environment for children to engage independently in reading and writing

What parents and family members can do:

  • Daily read and reread narrative and informational stories to children
  • Encourage children’s attempts at reading and writing
  • Allow children to participate in activities that involve writing and reading (for example, cooking, making grocery lists)
  • Play games that involve specific directions (such as “Simon Says”)
  • Have conversations with children during mealtimes and throughout the day

Excerpted from: Learning to Read and Write: Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children, part 4: Continuum of Children’s Development in Early Reading and Writing. (May, 1998) A joint position of the International Reading Association (IRA) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Young Children position statement (full-text PDF) (opens in a new window).

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