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Ready to Read:  Print Motivation
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).

Print Motivation

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 need to:

bulletAppreciate the pleasures of reading
bulletView reading as a social act to be shared with others
bulletSee reading as an opportunity to explore interests
bulletRead widely for a variety of purposes, from enjoyment to gathering information
bulletBecome comfortable with different written formats and genres

To help develop print motivation:

bulletMake book-sharing a special time between you and your child.
Get comfortable and cozy.
bulletLet your child see you reading and enjoying reading.
bulletVisit your public library often. Make it a special night or day of the week and make a big deal about it.
bulletLet children pick out books they want to read or have read to them.
bulletSubscribe to a magazine that your child is interested in.
bulletScatter books throughout your house, not just in your child’s bedroom. If books are handy, they are more likely to be picked up.
bulletMake book sharing a fun time for you and your child.
bulletIntroduce 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?"
bulletPoint 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?"
bulletAlways 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.
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