A foundational pre-reading skill is being able to literally see that there are words on the page as well as pictures. Children need to know that when they are being read to, the readers aren’t just making up stories that fit the pictures, but are paying attention to the print on the page. Drawing children’s attention to the print from time to time is a gentle way of helping them “see” the words and understand how they are used.
Choose a book from your storytime plan to use for this activity. You might choose a book that has large, clear words for the title on the cover, or a book that has a repeated phrase in bold type (such as Bear Snores On or Where’s Spot?), or a book that has a single word on a page.
Read your book to the children. When you get to the phrase you have selected, run your finger under the words on the page as you read it. If your book has the printed phrase, “The End,” you might run your fingers under that as well.
Then at the end of the book, say something like this to the grown-ups:
“Parents, when you point to words while you read, your children learn that there are words on the page as well as pictures. They need to be able to recognize what words look like before they can become a good reader. Reading with your child will help them get ready to read.”