Component 3: Print Knowledge

Learning Goal 3.a: Children demonstrate book awareness and knowledge of basic print conventions; they understand that print carries meaning and spoken words are represented by text.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Explore physical features of books
  • Demonstrate an interest in books from among a collection of toys
  • Demonstrate an interest in books by looking intently at or reaching for colorful pictures in books

By 18 months, most children:

  • Demonstrate an increasing ability to handle books without assistance
  • Hold books and look at pictures as if reading
  • Respond to features of books, such as pictures and sensory features (e.g., the fluffy cotton in Pat the Bunny)
  • Actively participate in shared reading experiences by pointing to and turning pages

By 24 months, most children:

  • Open books and bring books to an adult to read
  • Point out pictures in books and say the names of items in the pictures
  • Actively participate in shared reading experiences by making one- or two-word comments and continuing to point to and turn pages

By 36 months, most children:

  • Recognize specific books by their covers and seek out specific pages in familiar books
  • Know where books are kept, take them to an adult reader, and return books to their designated place when finished
  • Make scribble marks on paper and “read” the meaning they assign to the marks
  • Recognize letters and numerals as a special form of symbol that can be individually named

By 48 months, most children:

  • Hold a book in correct orientation and turn pages from front to back, usually one at a time
  • Demonstrate an understanding that print carries meaning and can be read (e.g., dictating words to adults, recognizing their own name or a sibling’s name, pointing to a street sign and asking an adult, “What does that say?”)
  • Imitate the act of reading a book and demonstrate appropriate book-handling skills
  • Handle and care for books in a respectful manner

By 60 months, most children:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of various conventions of print (e.g., upper- and lower-case letters, different fonts) and indicate where to start reading on a page and how to progress across and down a page
  • Describe roles of authors and illustrators and connect books to specific authors of illustrators
  • Identify familiar words in books and the environment
  • Recognize their own printed name and those of their siblings or friends