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Understanding how books work

By sharing books with young children, parents are teaching them an enormous amount about how books work.  Children find it much easier when they come to learning to read at school if they already have this knowledge about the features of books.  It is not something parents need to directly teach as most young children (under 4s) will pick up the physical features of how books work if they are read to regularly.  However it is useful to make you aware and lay out explicitly what you are teaching your child when you read to them.

Conventions of Print

  • Holding books the right way up
  • Distinguishing between front and back, beginning and end
  •  Turning pages individually
  • Understanding directionality of print from: left to right, top to bottom, left page before right
  • Understanding print carries meaning
  •  One to one correspondence between spoken and written word 
  • Knowing the difference between letters and words
  •  Knowing there are spaces between words