Early Childhood Literacy

During the preschool years

Young children need developmentally appropriate experiences and teaching to support literacy learning. These include but are not limited to:

  • Positive, nurturing relationships with adults who engage in responsive conversations with individual children, model reading and writing behavior, and foster children’s interest in and enjoyment of reading and writing.
  • Print-rich environments that provide opportunities and tools for children to see and use written language for a variety of purposes, with teachers drawing children’s attention to specific letters and words.
  • Adults’ daily reading of high-quality books to individual children or small groups, including books that positively reflect children’s identity, home language, and culture.
  • Opportunities for children to talk about what is read and to focus on the sounds and parts of language as well as the meaning.
  • Teaching strategies and experiences that develop phonemic awareness, such as songs, fingerplays, games, poems, and stories in which phonemic patterns such as rhyme and alliteration are salient.
  • Opportunities to engage in play that incorporates literacy tools, such as writing grocery lists in dramatic play, making signs in block building, and using icons and words in exploring a computer game.