3-year Old Pre-Literacy Skills for School Readiness

In the past month, 40-month old Sam has been fascinated with letters and spelling. He wants to know what words “say,” asks what such letter strings as P-L-O-S “spell” (clearly a string he made up off the top of his head!), and wants to practice spelling his name (Fortunately, he goes by his middle name Sam and not his given name “Constantine!”). These are important pre-literacy skills that he is building as a 3-year old that will serve him well when he enters a formal school setting and begins truly learning to read. The video demonstrates some of what he knows at this point, including the ability to associate a sound (i.e., mmmmmm) with a letter (i.e., M).

Here is a list of the Top 10 Pre-literacy Skills a 3-year old should be building for school readiness:

1) Identifying whether words rhyme or not
2) Generating his own rhymes (e.g., listing words that rhyme with PAT: cat, hat, rat, bat, mat, sat, etc.)
3) Identifying and naming shapes (e.g., circle, triangle)
4) Identifying the first sound/letter of his name
5) Identifying/naming other words that start with the same sound as his name
6) Recognizing print/letters in the world around him (e.g., “There’s a stop sign,” “That is the letter O,” etc.)
7) Playing with sounds to create nonsense words (e.g, koo, foo, goo, roo)
8) Attempting to “spell” words with the names of letters he knows
9) Learning the names of easily identified letters (i.e., O, X, S)
10) Clapping out the number of “beats” (i.e., syllables) in 1-, 2- and 3-syllable words (e..g, man, trouble, elephant)

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