WHAT YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW BEFORE THIRD GRADE
By Taylor Jackson
– Children should know print motivation, phonological awareness, print awareness, vocabulary, narrative skills and letter knowledge.
– A brochure from the Lexington County Public Library suggests books for children, such as “My Splendid Friend”, “Bunny Cakes”, “Hi Pizza Man”, “Little Red Hen”, “Three Bears” and Mother Goose nursery rhymes.
– Reading aloud is an activity a parent can do with his or her child from the very beginning.
(LEXINGTON, S.C.) – “To learn to read is to light a fire,” said Victor Hugo. A fire should be lit via six important literacy skills.
“Recognizing words, colors and shapes are skills children learn before even starting elementary school,” said Lisa Gaherty, the nursery coordinator at the Lexington Presbyterian Church. These skills are essential in that they are the building blocks of what every child needs to know before third grade.
Print motivation is a child’s fascination and enjoyment in reading. It is important for parents to choose books children are interested in and let them pick out books as well. The interaction involving books should be positive and pleasurable.
Phonological awareness is the ability to hear and play with smaller sounds in words. Books with rhyme, alliteration and animal sounds can enhance this skill. If a book does not rhyme, the parent and child can make up rhyming words. Clapping out syllables of words is another possibility.
Print awareness includes knowing that writing possesses meaning. Parents should point to words as they say them. The orientation of a book is something to consider too. If a book is upside down, parents can tell children it has to be turned around to read it. Scribbling, drawing and writing are encouraged to achieve this skill.
Vocabulary is knowing the names of things, feelings, concepts and ideas. Books with words not used in daily conversation are essential. Explain words and meanings in books, rhymes or even songs. Replace words children are accustomed to with unfamiliar words and have them repeat those words.
Narrative skills include the capability to describe and tell events in sequence, and also to tell stories. Select books with repeated phrases, cumulative tales, and plots with repetition. Telling stories with props can help children remember the order of a story. Having children draw pictures of the story and then retell it is another option. Children could make up their own story as well.
Letter Knowledge is realizing that letters are different from each other, have different names and are related to sounds. Alphabet books, books with shapes and books where children have to find things assist in grasping letter knowledge. In alphabet books, let the child decide what letters they want to talk about.
Lisa Gaherty (Nursery Coordinator): 803-600-0647
Six Literacy Skills Your Child Needs Brochure (Youth Services of Lexington County Public Library)