10 Ways to Encourage Early Literacy Learning

1. Engage children in meaningful conversation. Use words all day. Include self-talk and parallel talk. Expand children’s vocabulary.

2. Read stories, informational books, and poetry. Read favorites again and again. Children learn by repetition. Children learn by repetition.

3. Explore language to increase phonological awareness. Introduce games, books, and poems that involve rhyme and alliteration. Play with sounds.

4. Offer materials to help children learn the letters of the alphabet. Include ABC books, magnetic letters, and alphabet puzzles. Post a high-quality alphabet chart at the children’s eye-level and connect the letters to meaningful things to children, such as their names.

5. Provide and use books in all of the interest areas.

6. Support emergent writing by providing writing materials in all interest areas. Consider having a writing center stocked with pencils, markers, paper, name cards, and book-making supplies. Or add these materials to your book area.

7. Explain how books and print work. Point out the print as you read it.

8. Collect and display environmental print.

9. Use cards with children’s names on them often in large group, transitions, small group, and in all of the interest areas.

10. Have the children sign-in every day using a variety of methods. After they are used at sign-in, most sign-in materials can also be incorporated into interest areas, like the art area or the book area, so children who are highly interested can practice their skills.

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