Component 4: Comprehension and Interest

Learning Goal 4.a: Children show interest and an understanding of a variety of literacy experiences.

By 9 months, most children:

  • Attend to their caregiver’s voice when being held and read to
  • Become quiet or show pleasure when an adult tells or reads a familiar story or rhyme or sings a familiar song
  • Explore books with various senses (sight, touch, even taste)

By 18 months, most children:

  • Focus their attention for short periods of time on, and actively participate in, shared reading experiences by pointing to pages, turning pages, and making sounds or saying simple words
  • Request that adults read to them
  • Point to and make sounds for familiar pictures, objects, and characters in books and photographs
  • Make movements and sounds in response to cues in songs and finger plays
  • Demonstrate preferences for favorite books

By 24 months, most children:

  • Use words, gestures, and/or expressions to request rhymes and rhythm games from adults (e.g., asking an adult by demonstrating part of a rhyme’s movement and combining the movement with words)
  • Request adults to read books or certain pages in books to them (e.g., bringing a book to an adult while speaking words of request or making facial expressions that indicate the request)
  • Use gestures and body actions to indicate their interest in having a book read (e.g., nodding their head, raising eyebrows, and pointing)
  • Prefer to listen to familiar or favorite books multiple times (at a single setting or each day)

By 36 months, most children:

  • Actively participate in shared reading experiences by asking questions, making comments, and responding to prompts
  • Demonstrate an interest in a variety of early literacy experiences, such as telling and listening to stories, singing and saying rhymes, and engaging with writing materials
  • Demonstrate a preference for conventional books over board books
  • Enjoy books about a variety of topics
  • Choose to look at books, magazines, and other print materials without assistance
  • Incorporate books or other print materials into their play
  • Recite some words of a familiar book when read to (especially from books with repeating text)
  • Recall specific characters or events from familiar stories and retell some parts of a story with prompting and support
  • With modeling and support, anticipate what comes next in familiar stories

By 48 months, most children:

  • Enjoy and ask to engage in book reading, book writing, or other literacy-related activities
  • Explore a variety of literary genres, such as fiction, fantasy, informational texts
  • Share opinions about what they did or did not like about a book or story
  • With assistance and support, engage in writing activities (e.g., labeling a picture)
  • Begin to understand the sequence of a story
  • With support, retell or reenact familiar stories with pictures or props as prompts
  • Ask and answer questions about main characters or events in a familiar story
  • With modeling and support, make predictions about what might happen next in a story and determine if their predictions were confirmed
  • With modeling and support, demonstrate knowledge from informational texts
  • Respond to the question “what made you think so?” in response to their ideas about books and stories, with more depth and detail

By 60 months, most children:

  • Attend to and request longer and more complex books or stories
  • Engage in independent writing activities during routine times, such as pretending to write in their own journal
  • Demonstrate knowledge of details from familiar stories (e.g., about characters, events, story-related problems, and resolutions)
  • Engage in higher-order thinking during shared reading experiences, such as making predictions and inferences, determining cause-and-effect relationships, and summarizing stories
  • Retell a familiar story in the proper sequence, including major events and cause-and-effect relationships
  • Demonstrate knowledge from informational texts in a variety of ways (e.g., recognizing and naming a plastic model of a Triceratops after being read a book about dinosaurs
  • With guidance and support, relate events and information from stories to their own experiences