Introduction: How to Teach Reading to 4 and 5 Year-olds
Aliteracy is defined as a lack of the reading habit. It turns out, many folks that can read, don't want to read. The lessons that follow helps children find a love of reading. Creating readers that want to read is a matter of giving kids choices--kids need a wide variety of appropriately leveled books to choose from. Kid's also need to move along at their own pace.
Step 1: Letter Study
In terms of letter study, kids should be introduced to 2 new letters a week. The focus of letter study is learning the name and sound that each letter makes. The best letters to start with are the letters in a child's name. After that move on to letters that get used a lot--t, s, c, m, a etc...
Write you chosen letters on colorful construction paper. Then go through the cards with your child. Talk about the name and sound of each letter. Try to elicit the name and sound of the letters after a few days. Each week add two or three letters to your letter cards.
If you're interested in teaching letters look here:
Step 2: Word Study
Word study happen in parallel with letter study. Kid's can identify words without knowing the names of the letter within a word. Word study is learning how to utter a written word.
Cut construction paper into 8.5x5.5inch pieces. Write the following words on the cards with a marker: I, my, like, a, see, dad, mom, the, dog, is, go, here, said, to, & are.
Each week go over the word cards. Start with one card and then add two new cards each week. Talk about how to read the card and how to spell the card. When kids have a difficulty reading a word encourage them to say the sound of the first letter in the word--In kid "language" we say get your mouth read for the word.
Step 3: Reading
The more a kid reads the better their reading skills will be. That being said, beginning readers don't really read. To get kids to practice reading teachers use predictable books. Predictable books have the same basic sentence on each page. The only change from page to page is one word--this word is usually related to the picture on the page. For example, in the book below, the basic sentence is "I put in the _______." This basic sentence is on all the pages of the book. The only part that changes is the last word. Kid's can figure out what that word is by looking at the picture. While reading predictable books, kids are practicing to read. Eventually, kids begin to recognize different words and internalize reading behavior.
Predictable books can be bought through the internet and cost a dollar each. Understand that predictable books have levels. If your child is just starting out, start with beginning level books. As kids get better at reading move to more complex books. Look through the titles with you child and choose themes that appeal to them. Put the books in a basket with your child's name on it, so that your child can read their book when they want.
I usually read the first two pages and then have my students take over. Kids should read daily. Also kids should be read to daily.
Eventually kids will progress to less predictable texts. These less predictable texts will require a new set of skills that I'll talk about in my next instructable.
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