Want to help your pre-reader get ready to read? Try this Christmas concepts of print activity!
I’ve started creating voice to print packs to help my Three learn the concept of word. This is an important understanding that children need before they can learn to sound out words. I put dots under each word so my son can point to each one as he “reads.”
And yes, I realize that three of the four sentences are not true sentences. But since this activity is intended to teach children about the act of reading (including the recognition of capital letters and end punctuation), and not the definition of a complete sentence, it’s A-okay.
He lovs his transportation concepts of print pack (you can see his hand on it in the above picture), so we pulled that out for some review. He did wonderfully, so I felt confident we could try a new one: my Christmas voice to print pack.
I pulled it out and began to show him the pattern. Here’s how it goes:
- A heart.
- A red heart.
- It is a red heart.
“It” and “is” are new words for him. Because they are very similar to each other, he was quickly frustrated and not excited to do the activity.
He worked through a few cards in the pack, and then he was done. It was clear that this was an activity for another day. (Please excuse the blue fingers, ha! A certain little boy had been playing with blue food coloring. Without permission.)
About a week later, I pulled out the pack once more. Again, I met with some resistance. But I insisted that we would give it a try this time.
He felt strongly that he did not want to do the entire pack, so I pulled out some cards and placed them on the table. After a little trouble with “it is,” he caught on quickly.
When we began doing these a month or more ago, he really struggled to say one word for each dot. But he’s got it down now! So exciting! He’s so proud of himself when he breezes through these cards.
I started mixing up the cards so that he didn’t have a familiar pattern to follow as he read. He still did great!
And just to clarify:
Beyond “I,” “a,” “see,” and his name, my son does not read any words. He was able to “read” these cards using the picture clue and the beginning letter of each word. Technically, I do not call this actual reading, but you can bet that I tell him it is!
“I can read these cards, but I can’t read books,” he told me. He knows the difference – but even if he didn’t, it wouldn’t matter. The important thing is that he is learning pre-reading concepts (that each word he says matches a word on the page) and gaining confidence. And these two things are a big deal!
He also had no problem with the cards rearranged this way.
After such success, I really wanted him to attempt the whole ring (which includes forty cards total). But he resisted, and when my One started bringing me play food to eat, we abandoned our pre-reading lesson for some restaurant play.
Because when it comes to teaching preschoolers to read, rule number one is “Don’t push.”
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