Through 4 Years of Age
Snow, Burns, and Griffin (1998, p. 61) list the following developmental
accomplishments in literacy for 3- and 4-year-olds. This list includes
a wide range of behaviors and underscores the fact that literacy acquisition
exists along a continuum. All children may not have the same accomplishments
at the same time.
Developmental Accomplishments of Literacy Acquisition
Three- to Four-Year-Old Accomplishments
- Knows that alphabet letters are a special category of visual graphics
that can be individually named.
- Recognizes local environmental print.
- Knows that it is the print that is read in stories.
- Understands that different text forms are used for different functions
of print (e.g., list for groceries).
- Pays attention to separable and repeating sounds in language (e.g.,
Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, Peter Eater).
- Uses new vocabulary and grammatical constructions in own speech.
- Understands and follows oral directions.
- Is sensitive to some sequences of events in stories.
- Shows an interest in books and reading.
- When being read a story, connects information and events to life experiences.
- Questions and comments demonstrate understanding of literal meaning
of story being told.
- Displays reading and writing attempts, calling attention to self: "Look
at my story."
- Can identify 10 alphabet letters, especially those from own name.
- "Writes" (scribbles) message as part of playful activity.
- May begin to attend to beginning or rhyming sound in salient words.
Note: From Preventing Reading Difficulties in Young Children (p.
61), by C.E. Snow, M.S. Burns, and P. Griffin (Eds.), 1998, Washington, DC:
National Academy Press. Copyright 1998 by National Academy of Sciences. Reprinted
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