Parent Message #10 from my book, “Make Time for Reading”


Page 10A for BLOG

As your preschooler moves from scribbling to drawing to printing, they ‘invent’ letters, little sentences and stories.

Most importantly, they begin to connect the sounds they hear to letters. 



Figure 1

1. Collect discarded household food or other well-preserved labels from your home that have some relevance for your child … like a cereal box, candy wrapper, movie stub, or toy packaging.

2. In a notebook, scrap-book, or a book you make yourself, help your child paste the label on the left side leaving enough white space around the label for your child to write.

3. Say to your child, “ I’d like you to write about what you see.” Your child will likely render a combination of scribbles, drawings and invented letters and words—that’s ok. (see figure 1)

4. Next say to your child, “Now I will write exactly what you tell me you wrote. Be sure to watch me write your words on paper.” As your child speaks, slowly transcribe his or her words exactly, being careful to print neatly. Remind your child to watch you write to help them make the connection between what they say (oral language) and what you print (written language). I

Initially, your child’s dictation may have little connection to what they say they wrote, but over time, they will begin to make more connections between what they write and what they say they wrote. (see figure 2).

figure 2

BLOG photo Feb 20155. Build the book by encouraging your child to be on the lookout for favorite labels. Watch how your child’s oral and written language begins to connect and expand. Reread the book together and remember to have fun!!!


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