Ready to Read: Print
Here's a short video about print
motivation, including suggestions on how to share this important early
literacy skill with children. To view, click the PLAY button on the left
(arrow pointing right).
Teaching children that reading is fun represents an important
first-step in getting them ready to read. Learning to appreciate reading does require
effort on the child's part. Children that see reading as fun and
rewarding will "stick to it" and be motivated to learn.
When reading to babies, pre-talkers, and pre-readers, it is important to have fun doing it - read to a child when you
are in a good mood. A few joyous minutes sharing a book is worth
much more than a half-hour or more when the reader sees it as a "chore."
Enjoy sharing books - it's a special time with a child.
Allow them to ask questions and participate. Talk to your child
about how a book relates to their life and experiences. Allow the
child to direct the reading.
The key to remember is that reading to a child every day
is only beneficial when it is a happy experience. Make reading time
stress-free and upbeat - show your child how much you love this special
time together. Modeling reading behavior is not enough - we need to
be happy, joyous, and carefree when sharing reading with a child.
It helps to have a comfortable place to read - holding a
small child on your lap is great. Make the space you share reading
in special and read books that you and your child will be interested in.
Children who enjoy books will want to learn to read and are more likely to
become lifelong readers.
To develop and maintain the motivation to read, children
Appreciate the pleasures of reading
View reading as a social act to be shared with others
See reading as an opportunity to explore interests
Read widely for a variety of purposes, from enjoyment to
Become comfortable with different written formats and
To help develop print motivation:
Make book-sharing a special time between you and your child.
Get comfortable and cozy.
Let your child see you reading and enjoying reading.
Visit your public library often. Make it a special night or day of
the week and make a big deal about it.
Let children pick out books they want to read or have read to them.
Subscribe to a magazine that your child is interested in.
Scatter books throughout your house, not just in your child’s
bedroom. If books are handy, they are more likely to be picked up.
Make book sharing a fun time for you and your child.
Introduce the story, point to the front cover (following text while
you talk) and state the title, then the author's name. When
children are older, ask, "What does an author do?"
Point to the front cover (following text while you talk) and say the
illustrator's name. When children are older, ask, "What does
an illustrator do?"
Always look at the picture on the front together. It can be a
great discussion starter about what a book might be about or why it will
be a fun book.