Print Awareness is a major indicator of literacy success. Children with print awareness understand that written language is related to oral language. They know that the printed language carries a message and is a source of both information and entertainment.
Print awareness is an understanding that print is organized in a particular way – for example, knowing that print is read from left to right and top to bottom. It is knowing that words consist of letters and spaces appear between words. Print awareness is a child’s earliest introduction to literacy. Clay (1993) indicates that many children’s reading difficulties stem from not knowing how and what to look at in a print display.
A wonderful knowledge of letter shapes, or letter sounds, or words cannot serve a reader if that reader is traveling the wrong way down a one-way street.Marie Clay
Print Awareness Test
Give a child a storybook and ask them to show you:
- The front of the book
- The title of the book
- Where you should begin reading
- A letter
- A word
- The first word of a sentence
- The last word of a sentence
- The first and last word on a page
- Punctuation marks
- A capital letter
- A lower case letter
- The back of the book
The good news is that print awareness can be taught just by talking about and showing the child these basic conventions of print.
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